Instead of holding perpetrators accountable, Israel is criminalizing the work that organizations like mine are doing to protect Palestinian children’s rights.
By Khaled Quzmar | +972 Magazine | Dec 14, 2021
Based on our findings, a total of 67 Palestinian children were killed during the 11-day military escalation between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in May.
This year was unlike any other I can remember from my decades of defending Palestinian children’s rights. Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip in May, amidst a mass youth-led uprising across historic Palestine, sparked an outcry around the world, with more people than ever demanding Israel be held accountable for its violence toward Palestinians and calling for an end to its apartheid regime. It felt like our movement for justice, accountability, and liberation was finally in the world’s spotlight.
And yet, that attention has not resulted in any meaningful change for Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation. In fact, 2021 has been the deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014, a year which included Israel’s devastating military assault in the Gaza Strip codenamed “Operation Protective Edge.”
As of December 14, 86 Palestinian children have been killed in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International – Palestine, where I serve as General Director. Israeli forces and armed Israeli civilians killed 78 of those Palestinian children.