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  • Permanent victims of war: Who remembers Gaza's children?

    The Israeli public’s indifference to the effects of war on Palestinian children does not result in passivity — it is an integral component of the violence Gaza’s population faces. Ali al-Awour (pictured above on the left) was a 10-year-old boy from Gaza who loved to play soccer. On June 11, 2014, Ali was riding on the back of his uncle’s motorcycle when an Israeli missile targeting his uncle, a suspected member of a militant group, struck the vehicle. He found himself on a hospital bed in intensive care for three days before dying of his wounds. Ali was the first…

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  • UN details violence against Palestinian kids, leaves Israel off 'blacklist'

    The number of Palestinian children killed in 2014 was the third-highest of all situations the UN monitored — after Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel and Hamas are left off a list of rights-violating states and groups, allegedly as a result of political pressure. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took a last-minute decision to leave Israel off the UN's annual list of states and groups that gravely violate children’s rights this week. Ban reportedly removed Israel from the list, which forms an annex to the Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), as a result of diplomatic pressure from the U.S., including…

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  • PHOTOS: Gaza's children face an uncertain future

    Israel's latest offensive on the Gaza Strip killed more than 500 children. Those who survive must endure ongoing trauma and displacement. Photos by Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/ Text by Anne Paq I visited Al Nada towers in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip after they were destroyed by Israeli strikes. The towers had 90 apartments, home to many families. Mohammed, an 11-year-old child, was sitting on top of rubble, waiting to go to school. As I was working on a series of images of destroyed bedrooms, I asked him to bring me to his home to show me…

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  • PHOTOS: Amid rubble and trauma, Gaza goes back to school

    With displaced families still living in some schools, and despite severe damage to classrooms, Gaza's children return to school after a summer of Israeli bombardment. Photos by: Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/ Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Despite damaged classrooms and destroyed schools, Gaza’s school year began this week after delays due to the recent Israeli offensive known as Operation Protective Edge. According to Gaza Education Ministry official Ziad Thabet, the first weeks of classes will focus on recreational activities and psychological counseling to help children recover from the trauma sustained during this summer’s attacks. During the seven weeks of…

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  • Anticipating sirens and contractions: Bringing a baby into this reality

    Nothing about life here is 'normal.' How could it be? And neither will my birthing experience - and maybe that's for the best, so that things have a chance to actually change. Thursday was my "due date." I began my 40th week of pregnancy yesterday and am due to go into labor any day now. I've been mentally and physically preparing myself for this exciting and unpredictable moment for months, planning to have as natural, active and positive an experience as I can without any unnecessary interventions. Then came the huge intervention of reality this week as rockets began being…

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  • Details of Palestinian deaths jeopardize a system of denial

    The news says, 'the IDF doesn't kill children in vain.' And everyone here nods with a serious 'moral gaze.' By Nir Baram While mourning the horrific murder of the three Israeli boys by despicable murderers, yet again we hear the familiar calls of, "in times like these there is no Left and Right. We are all together." While there is "no Left and Right," MK Yariv Levin calls to deal with Israeli Muslims and make them understand that "that which was – will no longer be"; Minister Israel Katz calls to shake the houses in Gaza; Bennett, as always, wants…

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  • 'If you hear the bombs, you're still alive'

    This Father's Day, as the Israeli military is once again operating throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Samer Badawi reflects on loss, fatherhood and the last major Israeli assault on Gaza. I had intended today to write a reflection on what it means to be a father to three Palestinian children, how raising them has taught me to be humble about the limits of my own influence, and how heavy the weight of their inherited history. But that history, as it is forged, has a way of interrupting introspection, bringing the present into sharp -- and sharply real --…

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  • Military police must decide: Is the IDF a gang or an army?

    Youth from the village of Qaddum were shocked to find themselves featured on a threatening IDF poster. Will the army severely punish those responsible? By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz About two weeks ago, several youth from the village of Qaddum were shocked to discover their photos and names appear on a placard posted near the mosque, which presented the following threat: "We are the army, dir balaq, we'll catch you should we see you, or we’ll come to your house." The affair was exposed in the +972. The placard was written in bad Arabic. "Dir Balaq" is roughly…

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  • WATCH: Gaza children prohibited from visiting imprisoned fathers

    This past month, for the first time since 2007, Palestinian children under the age of eight granted permission to visit their parents in Israeli prisons. The decision to allow family visits to Palestinians in Israeli prisons was made last summer, following a six-week hunger strike by some 2,000 prisoners. Palestinian kids from Gaza above the age of eight are still prohibited from visiting their parents - the same goes for grandchildren and siblings. There are over 500 prisoners - among them 14 minors - from Gaza held in Israel. Over 400 of them are "security inmates" and approximately 100 prisoners are "criminal…

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  • Young Israeli boy, non-citizen mother arrested ahead of deportation

    We wrote in January [Hebrew] about Supreme Court Justice Yoram Denzinger permitting the deportation of an Israeli boy and his Polish mother. Yesterday at 5 a.m., the mother and her son were arrested ahead of their deportation. This time again, Justice Denzinger refused to get involved. The boy was born in Israel in 2005 to a Polish women and an Israeli man.  The boy has no connection to his father, received Israeli citizenship, and grew up in Israel from birth.  In August 2010, the mother submitted a request for status on the basis of a government decision stating that children…

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  • In the West Bank, there is no justice, even for children

    Hundreds of Palestinian minors were arrested for weeks and even months by Israel in the last five years. Those children - including 34 of them under the age of 14 - were tried in military courts. Only one was acquitted. A new report by human rights NGO B'tselem shed light on one of the occupation's most horrifying aspects As part of its annoying habit of shedding light on parts of the occupation most Israelis would prefer to know nothing about, B'tselem published yesterday morning a report about the arrest of minors in the West Bank. Most Israeli media preferred highlighting…

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  • Seven houses demolished, 50 children thrown out into the rain

    This picture, taken an hour ago in Lod by Amnesty Israel, pretty much says it all: The bulldozers are not digging out people from under the rubble - they're burying people's lives under it. They're not clearing the wreckage of the storm - they're unleashing the storm onto the bare heads of 50 (fifty!!) children and 30 adults. Their original sin was to be born Arab - and thus to be destined to live outside the planning process in Israel, to be forced to build without permissions, even though they are full citizens in "the only democracy in the Middle East."…

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