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Statement On Palestine 2023-10-08

Palestinian children have been the real victims of Israeli occupation, apartheid, illegal settlements and violence now for a third generation.

A report by Human Rights Watch states the following:

  • The Israeli military and border police forces are killing Palestinian children with virtually no recourse for accountability.
  • Israeli forces should end the routine unlawful use of lethal force against Palestinians, including children. Israel’s allies should increase pressure to end the practice.
  • The UN Secretary-General should list Israel’s armed forces in his annual report on grave violations against children in armed conflict for 2023, as responsible for the violation of killing and maiming Palestinian children.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the death toll in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has reached 313, including 20 minors, with at least 120 minors among the wounded. In 2021, nearly 30,000 children were displaced. An estimated 250,000 children needed mental health and protection services.

These figures are both heartbreaking and unacceptable. Every child’s life is precious, and their futures should be filled with hope, not fear. Justice For All strongly condemns the loss of innocent lives and stands in solidarity with the affected families.

Under international human rights and humanitarian law, particularly Articles 24 and 38 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is imperative to protect children in armed conflicts.The deliberate targeting of residential buildings housing children represents a blatant violation of these principles and is unjustifiable under any circumstances.

Justice For All calls upon US lawmakers and the international community to act swiftly and decisively. The United States, as a significant international actor, must assume a neutral arbitrator role and actively work towards ending the occupation and apartheid. Neutrality is paramount in resolving this crisis, and the US should refrain from taking sides with the occupier.

The protection of children and the pursuit of peace must be paramount in our collective efforts to resolve this tragic conflict, in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law.

We urge the US government and US Congress to take the following actions:

  1. Call for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
  2. Pressure Israel to put an end to its occupation.
  3. Advocate for the release or exchange of prisoners, including the 170 Palestinian minors arbitrarily detained under the Israeli military detention system.
  4. Ensure the protection of children during this conflict.
  5. Collaborate with the United Nations Security Council to facilitate a peaceful resolution.
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