The Deliberate Targeting of Palestinian Children: A Call for Immediate Action
The world has recently watched a heartbreaking tragedy play out in the occupied Palestinian lands; this tragedy requires our immediate attention and response. Israel has a purposeful and extremely distressing programme that involves killing Palestinian children on a regular basis. This gloomy fact is supported by a mountain of information that cannot be denied.
The shocking spike in Palestinian child mortality at the hands of Israeli troops has been extensively described in Human Rights Watch’s latest report, “West Bank: Spike in Israeli Killing of Palestinian Children.” There is no space for doubt in the report: Without warning or making any attempt at less lethal tactics, Israeli police are purposefully shooting youngsters in the upper body. This is a coordinated and planned military campaign, not random acts of violence.
34 Palestinian children had already perished in the West Bank as of August 22, 2023. These figures are a part of an unsettling pattern that raises the possibility that this year could surpass 2005 as the worst year for Palestinian children. It is crucial to understand that these are not merely statistics but rather the futures that have been ruthlessly snuffed out.
For Palestinians, the death of their children is a part of a larger Israeli campaign against their entire existence rather than an isolated incident. Israel does not openly acknowledge that it has targeted Palestinian youngsters, but troubling comments made by some leaders indicate a dehumanising undercurrent. Ayelet Shaked, a politician, called for the murder of Palestinian mothers and referred to the children as “little snakes” in 2015. Such arguments are just awful.
The tragedy continues in Gaza, where thousands of children have perished over the years, as well as in the West Bank. Between March 2018 and May 2019, Israeli shooters killed 59 Palestinian youngsters during the Great March of Return demonstrations. Despite these horrible crimes, not a single member of the Israeli military or administration has been held accountable on the global stage.
Inaction on the part of the international community to hold Israel accountable for its conduct contributes to the lack of accountability. It is a failure that we have all experienced as a group. To put an end to this misery, the world community must come together decisively. We must make holding Israel accountable for its atrocities against children a top priority if we truly care about universal human rights and the welfare of Palestinians.
Palestinian children will continue to endure unspeakable suffering without this united effort, which should grieve and disgrace us all. The time has come for swift and resolute action. We must take action to defend the innocent lives of Palestinian children and guarantee that all children in the area will live in peace and safety in the future.