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Fears grow for Palestinian children enduring new wave of instability following Middle East ‘Peace Proposal’

Save the Children | 4 February 2020

Since the proposal was announced, protests and clashes have erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory and the region, with some parents in the West Bank and Gaza choosing not to send their children to school for fear of violence. More than forty people have reportedly sustained injuries, mostly from tear gas inhalation. Save the Children deplores any acts of violence emboldened by, or in reaction to, the plan or any party’s response to it.  

The aid agency expresses deep concern over the Middle East proposal presented by the US Administration and the impact it will have on children’s rights, including their rights to life, survival and development, education and protection. It runs contrary to an inclusive approach to a comprehensive resolution that holds the greatest prospect for serving the interests of all children in the region.

Jeremy Stoner, Save the Children’s Regional Director for the Middle East, said:

“Palestinian children have told us that they feel like their voices aren’t heard and that they have become invisible in the eyes of all parties, including the international community. Generations of children have grown up knowing nothing but conflict and occupation. This plan, if implemented, would deny them the chance of a different future,

“The plan does not respect international law, in particular by encouraging the illegal annexation of the West Bank, in violation of international resolutions that view all settlements as illegal and call for their removal. The UN Secretary General  has reiterated the need for a solution that is founded on international law and recognised borders, based on the pre-1967 lines. We are deeply concerned that this plan does not offer Palestinian or Israeli children the chance of a peaceful future.”

Save the Children is calling for a viable peace plan with the involvement of the parties. It should provide a framework for the realisation of the fundamental human rights of Palestinians, including children, to participate in political and public life. Such mechanisms are crucial for ensuring pathways to engagement and protecting children’s right to have a say in decisions that affect their futures. 

Lulu*, 13 years old, told us before the announcement: “We only want to live with the small hope to live like other children of the world. We used to hope that something will happen, that the situation would change. But now we feel the opposite to all that. Like no one around the world looks out for us. We appeal to the countries that care about this issue to help us live a day that is happy and joyful, and in safety like the children around the world.”

Save the Children also calls on all parties and the international community to support a resolution to the conflict that is firmly rooted in international law, upholds equality and guarantees the safety of all children in the region. The only way to give Palestinian and Israeli children the future they deserve is through an inclusive and sustainable peace process that has the best interests, and the rights, of children at its heart.

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