Children in Palestine face a 'worsening crisis,' says NGO
Ahead of World Humanitarian Day, Country Director of Save the Children in occupied Palestinian Territory, Jennifer Moorehead, expressed concern for children in Palestine, stating that their basic rights including securities are put at risk by Israeli policies in the West Bank, Gaza and within Israel itself.
"In the occupied Palestinian Territory we are facing a worsening child protection crisis affecting health, education, food security, safety, and security.
"After 50 years of occupation, generations of Palestinian children remain trapped in an ongoing cycle of violence and diminishing human rights,” Moorehead said.
She added that there are more than two million Palestinian children whose lives are put at risk as a result of Israeli home demolitions, settlements, arbitrary arrests and detention. They are also abused by Israeli soldiers’ harassment at checkpoints.
In the Gaza Strip, where the median age is 18 and just under 45 percent of the population is under 14, children are subject to a brutal siege induced by Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
"In Gaza today, the humanitarian crisis is exacerbated by a shortage of electricity. With little more than three to four hours of electricity a day, the Humanitarian Coordinator, Robert Piper has warned that a further increase in the length of blackouts is likely to lead to a total collapse of basic services, including critical functions in the health, water and sanitation sectors,” Morehead said.
Save the Children called on “all duty bearers and world leaders" to address the growing child protection risks in the education sector.
"It is their responsibility to support and endorse the the Safe Schools Declaration and the related Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use, and to take concrete and immediate steps towards the demilitarisation of school spaces so that children have safe access to education," the organisation said.