Protect Palestinian children: Terre des hommes calls on world leaders

From Gaza to the West Bank, Palestinian children are under attack. Even children who will survive to see the next ceasefire are traumatised and will live with debilitating memories for the rest of their lives.Terre des Hommes International Federation along with Terre des hommes Lausanne, is calling on world leaders to take immediate action after 100 days of war on Gaza.  

“My life is hard, hard, hard, very hard. What do you expect?”, says a girl in Gaza.

We have said it before, and we say it again: No Palestinian child is safe. Whether they have lost a family member or friend, seen their home destroyed, been forced to leave their neighbourhoods, and seek refuge in temporary shelters, children in Gaza live in constant fear for their lives and their loved ones. Their whole existence is permeated by the earth shattering destruction and incomprehensible violence of war.

As an international child rights organisation working in Gaza and the West Bank, we cannot accept the inaction of leaders in the face of the grave situation of children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). This is why we are addressing a declaration to world leaders in order to accelerate efforts towards an immediate and lasting ceasefire. We demand an end to this war against children in Gaza, a situation that our team on the ground is witnessing day after day.

Read the full statement here. 

With 40% of Gaza’s population being under the age of fifteen, children are bearing an enormous share of the burden of war. Children in the OPT live under constant threat of violence, injury, and death.

Israeli bombardments and airstrikes have killed more than 10,000 children and injured thousands more. For every ten minutes that the war in Gaza continues, another child is killed.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Tdh teams are also witnessing an alarming increase of human rights violations experienced by Palestinian children and their families. Israeli forces have increased the number of civilian arrests, compounding longstanding mistreatment of children in Israeli military detention.

The situation in the OPT is of increasing concern because of the serious human rights violations committed against children. Children in particular face severe physical and psychological trauma. The brutal violence experienced by Palestinian children and their communities will resonate for generations.

Tdh stands alongside Palestinian children and calls on the international community to take urgent action to stop the war on children in the OPT, to ensure that the full spectrum of their rights is respected and that violations of their rights are not met with impunity. In this time of unprecedented crisis, bold leaders will be remembered for taking decisive action taken to achieve lasting peace.

The statement was sent directly to more than 30 relevant leaders, offices and institutions, including United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd.