On the International Children’s Day, observed on November 20th of every year, latest data reveal a dark reality of Palestinian children.
Defense for Children International reported that 49 children have been killed since the beginning of 2022, of whom 32 children were killed in the West Bank and 17 in the Gaza Strip, bringing the total number of Palestinian children killed since September 2000 to 2240.
Of them, bodies of 12 slain children are held in Israeli morgues. The youngest of them is Yousef Sobh,15, who was killed on September 26, 2021, during an Israeli military raid into Jenin.
Speaking to our organisation, his mother, Rajaa Hatnawi, said that Youssef was killed, and his body is continued to be held by Israeli authorities since then.
We had only received a phone call from the Palestinian military liaison office informing us of his killing. Since then, we do not know anything about his fate, she added.
Rajaa expressed wish to restore her son’s body and bury him. I know that his soul is at rest, but I have the right to bury my son’s body and not to leave it in the Israeli morgues, she said.
“I don’t know why Israel is detaining a child’s body, and why the world remain silent towards this crime?”
In 2022, the Israeli occupation arrested more than 750 Palestinian children, 160 of them are currently held in Israeli jails including three girls.
In Occupied Jerusalem, 2719 Palestinians were detained in 2022 including 586 children, mostly under the age of 12.
According to international laws, child detainees must be investigated in the presence of their lawyer or family member. However, this was not the case with the Palestinian child detainees in Israeli jails.
Along the same line, several Palestinian children in Occupied Jerusalem are subjected to house arrest.