Since 2007, a UNICEF-led working group has consolidated efforts to report on the impact of armed conflict on children in Israel and the State of Palestine. The bulletin is published on a quarterly basis highlighting trends and patterns in grave violations against children.
Members of the working group include: B’Tselem, DCI-Palestine, OCHA, OHCHR, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Terre Des Homme – Suisse, Save the Children, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNRWA, UNMAS, War Child Holland, WHO and World Vision.
This edition covers October, November and December 2016.
Update as of September 2017: The Principals of Working Group member organizations met in August 2017 and reaffirmed their commitment to continue to generate accurate and reliable data on the situation of children affected by the conflict In Israel and the State of Palestine and to put this data in the public domain for advocacy purposes and to improve the situation of children. They will continue to work to improve the content and format of the CAAC bulletins and implement specific actions to that end. They also agreed to move forward with a similar but distinct ‘bulletin approach’ on other non-conflict related child rights issues of concern in an effort to ensure a more comprehensive approach to the child rights agenda. They reaffirmed the need for engagement with all concerned parties. UNICEF, as the chair of the Working Group, is also in the process of reaching out to other human rights organizations who may be able to provide additional data on grave child rights violations and, where relevant, will propose their inclusion in the Working Group.
MAJOR TRENDS & VIOLATIONS
The situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip remained tense in the fourth quarter of 2016. A total of 1,305 incidents were documented in the reporting period, affecting 10,831 children. This marks a sharp increase from the preceding quarter when 746 incidents affecting 3,291 children were reported. This is mainly due to a significant rise in the number of children affected by education-related incidents following the restart of the school year: 8,993 children compared to 1,693 in the third quarter, with 103 education-related incidents registered in the last quarter of 2016, compared to 25 in the third quarter.
The number of children killed as well as the number of those injured in the reporting period were both lower than they had been in each of the preceding quarters in 2016. During the fourth quarter, four Palestinian boys were killed, and 81 Palestinian children were injured (5 girls and 76 boys); no Israeli children were killed and four Israeli children (4 boys) were injured. During the third quarter, six Palestinian boys had been killed and 190 children (187 Palestinian and 3 Israeli) injured.
Additionally, one health related incident was documented in the West Bank. Nine-hundred and eighteen (918) cases of denial and delayed access to health were documented in the Gaza Strip following the application of stricter criteria by Israeli authorities, compared to five-hundred and thirty four (534) cases in the third quarter. Restrictions of access imposed by the Egyptian authorities remain ongoing.
Available data indicates that the number of Palestinian children held in detention on security grounds remained high and continued to include cases of administrative detention.