24 August 2017
III. Information on violations committed against children
during armed conflict and progress made by parties on
dialogue, action plans and other measures to halt and
prevent violations against children
A. Situations on the agenda of the Security Council /…
Israel and State of Palestine
85. The first half of 2016 was marked by continued levels of violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces and a number of attacks against Israelis. Children in Israel and the State of Palestine continued to be affected by violence, security responses and the prevailing situation of military occupation and closure.
86. The United Nations did not receive reports of the recruitment and use of children in 2016; however, this violation is difficult to document, particularly in Gaza.
87. An increasing number of children from the West Bank were detained by Israeli forces for alleged security violations. Monthly figures provided by the Israel Prison Service indicated that the numbers of Palestinian children in military detention reached the highest levels recorded since 2010, with 444 children (including 15 girls) detained as at the end of March, although this number had decreased to 271 as at September. In East Jerusalem, the United Nations documented 712 cases of Palestinian children detained for security-related offences, including 15 children under twelve, which is the age of criminal responsibility. Following the resumption of the administrative detention of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities in 2015, 10 cases were documented in 2016. The United Nations also documented a total of 185 incidents of ill-treatment of children (175 boys, 10 girls) by Israeli forces during arrests and detention.
88. A total of 36 children (35 Palestinian boys, 1 Israeli girl) were killed and 900 children (887 Palestinian, 13 Israeli) were injured, predominantly in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
89. In the West Bank, 31 Palestinian boys were killed and all but 1 of the killings were attributed to Israeli forces: 15 children were killed while allegedly perpetrating stabbing attacks, 3 while carrying out stabbing attacks, 11 during military and search operations and 1 during demonstrations. Frequent use of live ammunition was documented, killing 30 Palestinian children. A number of cases raise concerns about excessive use of force. For example, on 20 September, an eyewitness stated that Israeli forces continued shooting at a sixteen-year-old boy in Bani Na’im after he had fallen to the ground following initial gunshots to his legs.
90. A total of 857 Palestinian children (797 boys, 60 girls) were injured in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem: 465 children were injured by Israeli forces during arrest operations or demonstrations, 356 during clashes and 4 in response to stabbing or alleged stabbing attacks. In addition, 29 Palestinian children were injured by Israeli settlers and 3 by unexploded ordnances.
91. In the Qiryat Arba` settlement, 1 thirteen-year-old Israeli girl was stabbed to death by 1 seventeen-year-old Palestinian boy who was subsequently killed by an Israeli settler, while in the West Bank 11 Israeli children were injured: 10 children were injured by Palestinian civilians in incidents of stone-throwing (8) and gunfire (2) towards vehicles and 1 child was injured by shrapnel from live ammunition fired by Israeli forces.
92. In Gaza, 3 boys were killed by Israeli forces and 30 children (27 boys, 3 girls) were injured: 25 children were injured by Israeli forces, 4 by unexploded ordnances and 1 by crossfire. On 12 March, 1 six-year-old boy and 1 nine-year-old boy were killed and their twelve-year-old brother was injured when Israeli security forces fired missiles in response to rocket fire into Israel at a site reportedly used by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades adjacent to their home in Baht Lahya.
93. In Israel, after he reportedly stabbed and injured an Israeli civilian, 1 seventeen-year-old Palestinian boy was killed in Petah Tiqua on 8 March. At least 2 Israeli children were injured in attacks by Palestinians conducted in Israel, including in a suicide attack on a bus in West Jerusalem on 18 April, which Hamas praised.
94. In the West Bank, the United Nations documented 74 incidents of attacks on schools or protected persons in the context of operations by Israeli security forces, clashes in and around schools or closure of schools as a result of attacks, with over 8,000 students affected, particularly in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah Governorates. Incidents resulted in damage to 3 schools, injury and physical assault of students: 68 incidents were attributed to Israeli security forces and 6 to Israeli settlers. The United Nations also documented the disruption of access to education resulting from the closure of schools, search operations, detention of students and school personnel, as well as delays to the schedules of students and teachers caused by checkpoints.
96. The United Nations documented the confiscation of a donor-funded mobile health clinic by the Israeli authorities in December, which affected access to healthcare services for 93 children in the Markez and Halawah communities in Hebron Governorate. In 2016, 26 per cent of child applications to cross the Erez checkpoint out of Gaza for medical treatment were delayed, affecting 2,490 children (1,026 girls, 1,464 boys), and 1 per cent were denied, affecting 87 children, representing the highest percentage of delayed and denied applications since 2010.
Developments and concerns
96. I note with grave concern the ongoing killing and maiming of children in Israel and the State of Palestine and voice my preoccupation regarding the potential recruitment and use of children in Gaza. I urge all parties to abide by their obligations under international law in order to protect children. I also call upon the Government of Israel to reconsider its imposition of administrative detention for children and to prioritize alternatives to detention in line with international juvenile justice principles contained in, inter alia, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules).