Distressing 2010 Report from Save the Children on Child Rights in the OPT

Save the Children UK: Child Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: 2010 Review
The full report is here [.pdf]

‘There were 4.05 million Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) as of
mid-2010—62.1% in the West Bank and 37.9% in Gaza.

An estimated 1.97 million, or 48.6% of the
total population, were under the age of 18 (or an estimated 1.22 million children in the West Bank and
746,630 children in Gaza).

‘The Palestinian economy continued to grow in 2010 (9.3% growth in real GDP up from 6.8% in 2009). Gaza saw significant economic growth (15% up from 1% in 2009) while growth in the West Bank was less dramatic (7.6% down from 8.5% in 2009). The opening of crossings into Gaza allowed
for goods to flow to the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. Nevertheless, this economic growth
was primarily driven by donor assistance and not viewed as sustainable under current conditions.

Unemployment rates went down marginally (23.4% at end 2010, down from 24.8% at end
2009). Unemployment remained higher in Gaza at 37.4% (39.3% in 2009) compared with 16.9% in the
West Bank (18.1% in 2009).

In 2010, 31.9% of households in Gaza suffered from poverty compared with 16% of households
in the West Bank. Nearly 27 percent (26.9%) of children in the OPT were poor (living in households
with income below the national poverty line)—38.4% in Gaza and 19% in the West Bank.

In Gaza,
households that remain above the poverty line are highly vulnerable to becoming poor.

52% of households in Gaza faced food insecurity and an additional 13% were vulnerable to
food insecurity during the first half of 2010 (compared with 61% in 2009). In rural areas of Gaza, 69%
of households faced food insecurity.

This translates to more than 90,000 children at risk of food insecurity in Gaza.

Similar to 2009, 71% of families in Gaza received at least one form of social assistance, mostly
in the form of food assistance, which plays a crucial role in alleviating poverty.

Still, almost one-third
of households did not maintain a diet with varied and nutritious foods.’

‘Nearly 95% of primary school students
and 95.8% of preparatory school students in
Gaza had insufficient electricity at home to
complete their homework either some or
most of the time.’

In 2010, 3 cases of Palestinian children used by Israeli security forces as human shields in the West Bank

In 2010, 320 Palestinians died & were injured in settler-related incidents

In Area C of the West Bank, Israeli authorities destroyed in 2010 at least 40 water cisterns affecting 7500 children

Up to 48% of Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem are at risk of displacement by Israel

13 Palestinian children in detention were threatened with sexual assault by Israel military in 2010

In 2010, 70% of detained Palestinian children were beaten or kicked by the Israeli military

30,000 Gazan Palestinians & thousands of children remain displaced 2 years after Cast Lead

10,000 Palestinian children are unregistered in East Jerusalem with no access to education or health care

70 Palestinians, half children, were forced from their East Jerusalem homes by Israeli settlers in 2010

In 2010, Israel forcibly displaced 299 Palestinian children due to its demolition of their homes

Israel shot 23 Gazan children collecting building material or grazing livestock in 2010

Not mentioned by Palmer report – 85% of maritime areas for fishing are blocked to Palestinians

At the end of 2010, less than 1% of the homes destroyed by Israel in Cast Lead had been rebuilt

Thanks to Israel’s illegal Gaza blockade, by early 2011, asthma medication for children was completely out of stock

In 2010, there were 24 documented cases of attacks by Israel on schools in the OPT including demolition orders

~ 95% of children in Gaza had insufficient electricity to complete their homework some or most of the time.

Over 44 percent (44.4%) of children were refugees.

In the West Bank, 29% of
children were refugees; in Gaza, the percentage was much higher at 67%.

UN Report on Indigenous Peoples

New UN Special Rapporteur report refers to Israeli policies toward Bedouin citizens in the Negev. Pp.24-31

‘the people in the Government-created towns reportedly rank at the bottom of all the indicators used by the State to measure social and economic wellbeing. Furthermore, the Bedouin have complained that they cannot continue to live in their traditional manner in these urban areas, given that raising crops or animals in the towns is not allowed.’

?’Reportedly, out of approximately 155,000 Bedouin living in the Negev today, around half live in the recognized towns created by the Government and half live in 47 so-called “unrecognized villages”. According to the information received, although officially unrecognized, the majority of these villages were established prior to the creation of the
State of Israel, and virtually all were established prior to the creation of the Government-created towns. The unrecognized villages are denied all forms of basic infrastructure and are not allowed to build or develop in any way. Building permits may not be issued in unrecognized villages, resulting in Bedouin individuals being indicted continually for “illegal” construction and in countless Bedouin homes being subject ot demolition orders.

It is further alleged that, since the early 1990s, Bedouin people living in unrecognized villages throughout the Negev desert have experienced ongoing demolitions of their homes and
villages by Israeli authorities.”

The Special Rapporteur gives the racist Israeli government a hard smack.

‘First, the Special Rapportuer acknowledges the position of the State of Israel that it does not accept the classification of its Bedouin citizens as an indigenous people given that
Bedouin tribes arrived to the Negev area late in the Ottoman era, mainly from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to an already existing legal regime. The Special Rapporteur notes, however, the
longstanding presence of Bedouin people throughout a geographic region that includes Israel, and observes that in many respects, the Bedouin people share in the characteristics of indigenous peoples worldwide, including a connection to lands and the maintenance of cultural traditions that are distinct from those of majority populations. Further, the
grievances of the Bedouin, stemming from their distinct cultural identities and their connection to their traditional lands, can be identified as representing the types of problems
to which the international human rights regime related to indigenous peoples has been designed to respond. Thus, the Special Rapporteur considers that the concerns expressed by
members of the Bedouin people are of relevance to his mandate and fall within the ambit of concern of the principles contained in international instruments such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. ‘

Related Links

All Guilty! Observations in the Military Juvenile Court 2010-11
Voices from East Jerusalem, The Situation facing Palestinian Children
UN Report: Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 [Sept 11 .pdf]