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07.21 Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’ [We love a sane smarty-pants! Trump, you won't understand any of this, so just go off and tweet or chant, or whatever...]

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Cargo ships are emitting boatloads of carbon, and nobody wants to take the blame [1:19 video; Governments must commission to fight deadly shipping emissions, previously omitted in climate summit agreements....]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

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07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

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07.21 Of course Donald Trump is a racist – and his Wall Street enablers know it

07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]

07.21 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING CRUSHED IN FUNDRAISING: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER” [Since so-called moderate Democrats will prostitute themselves in many conceivable ways (offering that special quid pro quo) they have effectively become competitively ANTI-PUBLIC, like Republicans. Whereas progressive Democrats must promise not to take corporate donations at all as an effective litmus-test. The DNC refuses to raise funds for moderate and progressives separately, and thus donations fall short. Which is it to be: 1) Will the DNC change? or 2) Must progressive Democrats become corporate whores too? or 3) Maybe you don't need corporate contributions at all if your policies are fantastic?]

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984. [1:35 video; Our despicable President is at it again]

07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]

07.21 Nancy Pelosi's Dem Socialist Challenger Shahid Buttar: "We're Gonna Win" | Full Interview [5:43 video]

07.21 Jon Stewart goes viral excoriating Rand Paul after blocking vote [9:02 video]

07.21 Nicolle Wallace Refuses to Broadcast Trump Live [5:43 video]

07.21 Sassy Bernie Sanders Sh*ts on Jeff Bezos on His Home Turf... Numerous Times [17:22 video]

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

International & Futurism

07.21 Millions face hardship as Zimbabwe comes close to ‘meltdown’

07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

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  Print view: Palestinian Children Under Occupation
REPORTS:

Palestinian Children Under Occupation

by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Israeli soldiers catch a child.
For over six decades, over four under occupation, Israel has pursued a ruthless, violent, racist policy of slow-motion genocide against millions of Palestinians, especially children, to cripple new generations physically and emotionally.

The Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations is a Beirut, Lebanon-based organization engaged in "strategic and futuristic studies on the Arab and Muslim worlds, (emphasizing) the Palestinian issue." In July 2010, it published the latest in its "Am I Not a Human?" series titled, "The Suffering of the Palestinian Child under the Israeli Occupation," saying:

Palestinian children grow up "under the Israeli occupation, surrounded by cruelty, oppression, killing, starvation and destruction." Yet, like all children, they dream of playing and living normally and safely. Instead, their father may be dead or in prison, their brother killed, their home destroyed, and their mother forced to give birth at an Israeli checkpoint, risking her and the newborn.

Palestinian children grow up differently from most others, their development "distorted by an occupation," destroying their innocence, dreams and well-being. They live in constant fear, forced to grow up while still a child. "Actually (they are) grown up, for (they challenge) the toughest circumstances," helping their families, replacing a parent when lost, and confronting Israeli incursions. "Amazingly....Palestinian child(ren set) the example to mature people," even when very young.

They live when "we think that the world has become (more) civilized" without cruel colonizations, when global leaders defend human rights, dignity, democratic freedoms, and peace rhetorically, yet are indifferent to oppressed Palestinians, children always the most vulnerable, yet they persist and endure despite enormous hardships and obstacles, what Western children can't imagine.

From September 2000 (the start of the second Intifada) through 2007 alone, 1,400 children were killed, 230 under age 12. What about others under occupation, with no father, injured or handicapped, hungry, impoverished or in prison? Still more who've lost friends and relatives, who live in fear and can't sleep, who feel helpless when Israelis attack, and unprotected under a ruthless occupation, ongoing for over 43 years, affecting them physically, emotionally, and economically, making them feel isolated, helpless, and unaided, world leaders indifferent to their plight and their families.

Demographics

Palestine is a young society, children comprising the majority. In its June 2007 annual report, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said 2.1 million are under age 18, representing 52.2% of the West Bank and Gaza, distributed as follows:

  • 17% below age five;
  • 15.4% from five - nine;
  • 13% from 10 - 14; and
  • 6.8% from 15 - 17.

They're Palestine's future, their development and regeneration hope for liberation, pursued courageously until achieved, but at a huge price.

From September 29, 2000 - December 31, 2008, children witnessed around 5,900 killings, over 35,000 injured, about 7,500 of their parents and relatives imprisoned, and the destruction of nearly 78,000 buildings through April 30, 2007.

A British study found that Palestinian children during the Intifada displayed higher political awareness levels. They know names of destroyed villages, especially where their parents were born, are knowledgeable about the conflict, and show commitment to resist it.

A separate report on Lebanese refugee children reveals extreme hardships under poor conditions in crowded homes without clean water, air, electricity, playgrounds, or job opportunities for their parents. In addition, children under age three experience a high rate of birth defects and respiratory diseases. In northern Lebanon, it's 44.5%. Yet their Lebanese Baccalaureate passing rate is 73.9%, showing a commitment to achieve.

Palestinian Children: Their Rights and Violations

Israel repudiates children's rights and welfare, treating them harshly like adults, in violation of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, its Principle 1 saying:

"Every child, without exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to (fundamental human and civil) rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family."

They're entitled to special protections and opportunities to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually, and socially in a healthy normal way under conditions of freedom and dignity - including their right to life, an adequate standard of living, healthcare, education, leisure, safety and peace, what Israel has denied them for over four decades.

Wounded and Killed Children

Aya Fayyad's story reflects others, her death a tragedy other parents face, her mother Fatima saying her daughter's loss on August 31, 2003, the eve of her school year, left her dazed and unable to imagine her nine-year old was dead.

She'd gone out to play, riding her bike when tank shells exploded. Other children escaped, but not Aya, struck by bomb shrapnel and killed.

On June 10, 2004, Iman al-Hams, a 13-year old girl, headed for school with two of her classmates. Nearing the Girit military post, they heard shooting. Iman ran to escape it and was shot dead by 20 "machine gun bullets that settled in her tiny body." Not satisfied, three soldiers and their commander approached her, shot her multiples times to be sure, claiming her school bag contained explosives, later admitting there were only books.

Hundreds of similar incidents claimed other lives and thousands wounded or disabled. PCBS' April 2008 annual report cited 959 deaths from September 29, 2000 - February 2, 2008 - 384 in the West Bank, another 573 in Gaza and two in Israel, the number injured (including many seriously) totaling 28,822, the total disabled about 2,660, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (PMH).

PMH also reported that 31.4% of killed children were shot in the head, another 32.5% in the chest, showing intent to kill, soldiers often firing at close range and committing murder - part of their training and indoctrination from kindergarten to be warriors and Arab-haters, Amnesty International (AI) responding in a press release saying:

"The majority of Palestinian children have been killed in the Occupied Territories when members of the IDF responded to demonstrations and stone throwing incidents with unlawful and excessive use of lethal force. Eighty Palestinian children were killed by the IDF in the first three months of the Intifada alone."

AI also mentioned Sami Fathi Abu Jazzar, shot in the head by Israeli soldiers on the eve of his 12th birthday in the aftermath of a stone-throwing demonstration, injuring six other children with live fire, AI representatives witnessed it firsthand, concluding soldiers' lives weren't endangered.

In 2001, AI reported that Palestinian children were killed by "random" IDF firing, shelling or bombarding residential neighborhoods "when there was no exchange of fire and in circumstances in which the lives" of soldiers weren't at risk. "Others were killed by (targeted) assassinations when the IDF destroyed Palestinian houses without warning, and by flechette shells and booby traps used (in) densely populated areas."

Other children were killed at checkpoints, by settlers, and by being prevented from reaching hospitals when their lives were in danger - cold-blooded murder by other means.

Children in Detention and Custody

In its April 2008 report, the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs said over 7,000 children had been arrested since the start of the second Intifada, 360 still in detention, some as young as 10, treated harshly like adults, in violation of international law requiring special treatment for children.

Of these, 145 have been sentenced, 200 still await trial, and 15 are administratively held without charge. The report also explained that about 500 other prisoners were arrested as youths, turning 18 in prison.

Other data confirmed around 75 children ill, not being treated, nearly all tortured by being beaten, hooded, painfully shackled and deprived of sleep for several days in the shabeh position - hands and legs bound to a small chair, at times from behind to a pipe affixed to the wall, painfully slanted forward, hooded with a filthy sack, and played loud music nonstop through loudspeakers.

Most children were arrested at home (77%), some at play, others at demonstrations. Most are students, some waiting over two years for a trial, becoming ill from poor food, hygiene, and lack of healthcare.

The Ministry's 2007 report said about 220 were arrested, many still detained "under very bad conditions, receiving harsh treatment and prevented from pursuing their education or having any prospect of a prosperous future."

One 16-year old youth was arrested heading to school for failing to have his ID card. Afterward, he was beaten, sent to Etzion detention camp, handcuffed, blindfolded, and beaten again brutally to get him to confess to stone-throwing and reveal names of other children with him at the time. During interrogation, his head was immersed in cold water, then hot, then the toilet. Later moved to Adorim camp, he was again beaten, tortured, held in solitary confinement for 34 days, then judicially-ordered held on "restrictive order" and transferred to Telmond Prison, in violation of Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) stating:

"No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment....

No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily....

Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect.... (and)

Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance...."

CRC also mandates detention as a last resort for the shortest possible time. Israel does it preemptively, repressively, and irresponsibly to harass, abuse, inflict bodily and emotional harm, torture or kill - legalized by authorities decades ago, including harming children with:

  • bad food and unsafe water;
  • poor healthcare or lack of it;
  • bad sanitation and hygiene;
  • insect infested cells;
  • cramped and crowded conditions;
  • inadequate air and light;
  • insufficient clothing, blankets and other protections;
  • no play or recreation;
  • isolation from the outside world;
  • no family visits;
  • the absence of counselors and specialists;
  • detention with adults, some violent;
  • solitary confinement;
  • verbal, physical and sexual abuse; and
  • no education.

[Torture as official Israeli policy was explained in this writer's August 2008 article.]

Nothing is too brutal or extreme, including against women and children, one 15-year old saying he was stripped naked, forced into an extremely painful position, then burned by lit cigarettes to make him confess. Others are tortured to collaborate. A 10-year old said "They beat me on various parts of my body with plastic hoses. I had to have a surgical operation to have a platinum transplant in my arm. They kept me naked for a whole night, handcuffed and blindfolded; and I was not allowed to go to the toilet for two days!"

The Palestinian Prisoners Club reported that 95% of children are tortured, 85% to confess under duress and sign Hebrew documents they can't read or understand.

Health Status

Harsh occupation causes health problems, physical and psychological from witnessing violence, mainly against loved ones and friends. "These conditions raise the death rate among children," soldiers often obstructing ambulances and medical workers from reaching casualties and the sick, and they prevent deliveries of vital equipment and materials, especially to Gaza.

Even seriously ill adults and children can't access proper medical care abroad or in East Jerusalem in hospitals equipped to help them. They've also been isolated and denied proper nutrition, 64% of children becoming anemic from lack of sufficient sustenance.

UNICEF reported that one baby in three risks death because of Gazan medical shortages, and the Separation Wall and checkpoints cause a 20% West Bank death rate - 61 births from 2000 - 2004 occurring at them because soldiers obstructed passage, 36 dying immediately.

Israel also prohibited the distribution of special nutritional meals to about 20,000 Gazan children under age five, most never having had them in their lives, and suffer anemia, stunted growth, and general body weakness from malnutrition and extreme poverty - compounded by the siege.

Mental health is also impacted, a 2004 PCBS survey showing 8.8% of children experience horrible accidents firsthand, most are intimidated by air raids, bombings, shellings, incursions, and the constant threat of more. UNICEF said about one-fifth of children are exposed to family violence from daily pressure, including poverty, unemployment, and lack of essential services and support networks.

A Gaza Community Mental Health Program study found 94.6% of children witnessed bombings and killings. Another Israeli Adler Research Center one showed 70% of West Bank children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

As a result, the National Plan of Action for Palestinian Children said 93% of children are insecure, living in fear of being attacked, and 52% believe their parents can't help. As a result, they experience an array of psychological symptoms, including:

  • panic, fear and stress;
  • anxiety, sadness and depression;
  • forgetfulness and poor memory;
  • hyperactivity and violence;
  • fainting;
  • digestive disorders and loss of appetite;
  • involuntary urination and headaches;
  • insomnia or excessive sleep;
  • disturbed sleep or nightmares;
  • feelings of helplessness with no safe haven, even at home; and
  • hatred toward their occupier, instilling a spirit to resist.
The Socio-Economic Situation

"Child rights agreements state that every child has a right to special care and assistance, and a right to a proper environment that fosters his growth, well-being, self-respect and dignity in a good family environment."

Palestinian children, however, are impeded under occupation, and an environment designed to be threatening and unsafe. This reality "denies them the joy of living an innocent childhood," and for some, the inability to become adults.

Yet Fourth Geneva's Article 27 states:

"Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity."

CRC's Article 16 states:

"No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation."

For decades, Israel has spurned international law and dozens of UN resolutions condemning or censuring its actions, deploring it for committing them, or demanding, calling on, or urging it to end them. Israel never did and continues defying the rule of law, even its own, including High Court rulings authorities won't accept, and actions like the following:

An Israeli military court ordered a seven-year old girl named Farah, whose father was assassinated five years earlier, to pay an 1,850 shekel fine in one month, without explanation, saying appropriate legal measures would be taken for refusing.

Another ruling prevented the parents of two-and-a-half year old Ahmad and nine-and-a-half year old Sawsan from accompanying their children through the Erez crossing for two urgently needed heart operations. They had to go alone on foot, Haaretz calling it "one of the most horrible and cruel scenes broadcast daily (and) a shameful stigma to Israel."

Other socio-economic negatives include deteriorated home environments, lost homes, jobs, and mass impoverishment - 56.1% in the West Bank, 82% in Gaza, and 24% of children living in abject poverty, according to PCBS figures.

As a result, they have to leave school to help out, tilling fields, selling miscellaneous items on streets, anything for a few shekels, especially in fatherless households, a situation not conducive to proper development.

Education

"Israel works on hindering the education of Palestinians." Besides violating their basic right, it jeopardizes a new generation, UNRWA commissioner-general, Peter Hansen, saying:

"Imagine the political fallout if every schoolchild in London had missed a month's schooling last year because teachers could not get to their classes," or if children, heading to and from school, were endangered by tanks, checkpoints, and soldiers - a daily reality in Occupied Palestine, under the harshest conditions facing unimaginable obstacles and disadvantages, impacting education like everything else, affecting a proper environment for teaching and learning.

Yet Palestinians consider education vital to protect and sustain, the 2007-08 UN Development Program Report showing the Occupied Palestine Education Index at 0.891, the highest of all Arab states, followed by Libya at 0.875, Lebanon at 0.871 and Kuwait at 0.868 - the Index measuring the rate of children who attend school. The overall Arab average is 0.687.

Final Comments

For over six decades, over four under occupation, Israel has pursued a ruthless, violent, racist policy of slow-motion genocide against millions of Palestinians, especially children, to cripple new generations physically and emotionally, to crush their spirit to resist, to harden a ruthless colonial agenda in violation of fundamental international humanitarian law with respect to basic human freedoms, self-determination, and the right of people to live freely on their own land in peace.

The "parties involved in this cause, including the Palestinian Authority, the media, (global activists) and human rights organizations, (must) work hard to expose (Israel's) brutality....in international forums, in particular the UN General Assembly, to condemn (its) occupation to the world community, to accuse and prosecute it in international judicial institutions for committing the most horrific and inhumane crimes," especially against children, representing hope and regeneration.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on July 21, 2010.
 

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