SHAFAQNA – The year 2014 was among the toughest for Palestinian children due to Israeli violations, an international NGO has said.
Defense for Children International Palestine added in a statement that last summer’s devastating Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip, which left more than 480 children dead and thousands of others injured, contributed to making 2014 among the worst for Palestinian children.
It referred to one instance in which the Israeli military used a Palestinian child as a human shield.
The NGO added that the case involved a 16-year-old boy who was detained for five days, physically assaulted and made to search for tunnels inside the Gaza Strip.
It noted that even before the operation – which was called Operation Protective Edge – started in early July, fatalities and injuries were recorded in the Gaza Strip.
Defense for Children International said three children lost their lives as a result of Israeli gunfire or airstrikes, while at least 43 others injured in similar conditions.
It added that military detention was a reality for hundreds of Palestinian children every year, noting that children were usually exposed to physical and psychological violence in this detention, while their education was interrupted, contributing to mental health issues.
The NGO said an average of 197 Palestinian children were detained by the Israeli military every month throughout 2014.
“At least 11 Palestinian children in the West Bank lost their lives in 2014 after they were shot with live ammunition by Israeli troops,” Defense for Children International said in the statement.
It added that fatalities increased after the killing of three Israeli settlers in the West Bank in June of 2014.