Coinciding with International Children’s Day on 1 June, figures released by the Palestinian Ministry of Information show that 1,456 Palestinian children have been shot dead by Israelis since the Aqsa Uprising started in late 2000. The ministry pointed out that all Palestinian children are still subjected to constant abuse and attacks by Israeli occupation forces and illegal Jewish settlers across the occupied Palestinian territories. Dozens have been arrested by Israel in a campaign of harassment in the occupied West Bank.
Children in Palestine make up 52 per cent of the population. As well as almost 1,500 being killed since 2000, around 5,000 children have been injured and 215 are being held in Israeli prisons; 175 have been arrested since the beginning of 2012.
In 2010, around 1,000 Palestinian children aged between 15-17 were arrested by the Israeli occupation forces, 500 of them in occupied Jerusalem. Most of the charges brought revolved around accusations of “throwing stones” at illegal settlers’ vehicles.
The Ministry’s statistics also reveal that 65,000 Palestinian children aged between 5 and 14 are involved in some kind of work, paid and unpaid, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.