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“Life is becoming more violent for children in the Palestinian Territory. By the end of 2006 more than 120 children had died due to the conflict, more than double the number of child deaths in 2005. Many more have been injured, some for life.”
"Children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally. Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents, or anyone else who looks after them."
Article 19 of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child
Children in Palestine: The Facts
60% of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are under 19-years-old.
One in 3 Palestinian males aged 15-19 is an unskilled worker. Unemployment is a severe problem for young Palestinian men: 20% of 15-19-year-olds cannot find paid work.
20% of Palestinian females marry between the ages of 15-19. More than 1 in 10 subsequently divorce.
According to the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF): “Conditions have rarely been worse for Palestinian children.” One in 10 Palestinian children now suffer from stunted growth due to compromised health, poor diet and nutrition and 50% of Palestinian children are anemic, and 75% of those under 5 suffer from vitamin A deficiency.
UNICEF claims that roadblocks, barriers, checkpoints and soldiers are impeding health workers and patients, including child patients, from accessing health centers across the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Delivery of medication and equipment are also severely affected.
On March 8th, 2007 Khaled Daud Faqih died at a checkpoint between the village of Kafr’Ain and the city of Ramallah. His parents were trying to take him to Ramallah hospital, but were detained at a checkpoint by Israeli soldiers. Khaled Daud Faqih was 6 months old.
Rising poverty and unemployment is affecting school attendance across Palestine. In the 2005/6 school year the number of students whose families could not afford the NIS 50 ($11) school fee doubled from 29,000 to 56,000.
Up to 67% of families are living in poverty across the West Bank. In Gaza poverty rates have spiraled to 85% this year, severely affecting every aspect of children’s lives.
Increasing numbers of Palestinian children are now working to support their families instead of attending school. Palestinian children under the age of 14 can cross Israeli checkpoints without permits, and at least one thousand Palestinian children now cross into Israel every day, to work in garbage tips salvaging glass and metal. More than half of the Palestinian children who work in Israel, or Palestine, do not attend school at all.
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