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Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Blood on Their Hands: Child Killings By the Israeli Occupation Forces

" . . . at 4 AM on March 1 Samah Abu-Saif was preparing food for the family when twelve year old Safaa went upstairs to the second floor of the house . . . .

"Five minutes later the extended Abu-Saif family downstairs heard a single shot, followed by screaming. . . . Safaa had been shot and collapsed on the bedroom floor . . . ."

There was a hole in her chest and she was "bleeding heavily," according to her brother. Ambulances were being attacked by the IOF so they could not come to the house. The little girl bled to death for three hours. When her mother and her grandmother waving a white flag tried to carry the dead girl outside the Israeli soldiers from inside a tank shot in front of them forcing them inside.

The above is direct quotation and a summary from Palestine Center for Human Rights Gaza's "Blood on Their Hands": Child Killings By the Israeli Occupation Forces In the Gaza Strip, June 2007-June 2008.

The sixty-four page report may be downloaded in PDF format here.

According to a PCHR press release issued today:

During international armed conflicts, including occupations by military forces, children are afforded protection under International Humanitarian Law. Children are also granted protection under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), as persons who are especially vulnerable during war time. However, the State of Israel has consistently failed in its legal obligation to offer protection towards the children of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Since the beginning of the Second Intifada in September 2000, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have killed more than 860 children in the OPT, the majority of them in the Gaza Strip.

In response to these IOF killings of children, and IOF consistent use of excessive lethal force against Palestinian children, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is launching ‘Blood on Their Hands’ - a major investigative report on child killings perpetrated by the IOF in the Gaza Strip.

Blood on Their Hands examines IOF killings of children in the Gaza Strip from June 2007-June 2008. During this period, IOF killed sixty eight children in the Gaza Strip.[1] The report provides data, analysis and testimonies on the killings of these children, including detailed testimonies from eye-witnesses and bereaved families, which highlight the horrific nature of these IOF child killings. The report also examines the psychological impact of child deaths on other children in the Gaza Strip, especially those children who have witnessed IOF killings. Although it focuses on the Gaza Strip, the report also refers to child killings by IOF in the West Bank, where twelve children were killed by IOF during the reporting period.

The violent deaths of all these eighty children are the direct result of IOF policy of targeting unarmed civilians in the OPT, and especially the Gaza Strip, as a form of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians. The report investigates the context of child killings in the Gaza Strip, providing detailed investigations into IOF use of disproportionate and excessive lethal force in order to deliberately target children. The report also exposes IOF methods of killing children, and the consistent failure of the State of Israel to investigate IOF killings of Palestinian children in the OPT, or to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Blood on Their Hands exposes the extent of IOF child killings, and makes urgent recommendations for the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) to respect the human rights of all Palestinian children in the OPT, as well as demanding that the international community intervenes immediately and effectively in order to ensure that children’s human rights are respected and upheld.

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