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Country reports

A/78/545: Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967


20 October 2023

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Children comprise half of the Palestinian population under Israel’s 56-year-old settler-colonial occupation. As a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Occupying Power in the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel is obliged to prioritise the best interests of all children under its jurisdiction. Yet, Israel subjects Palestinian children to severe physical and psychological trauma, burdening them with fears and challenges that no child should bear. The absence of accountability for Israel's actions has emboldened its disregard for international obligations.  

Israel’s occupation, designed to illegally annex occupied land, stifles Palestinians’ civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Land confiscation, resource expropriation, and confinement contribute to Palestinian de-development, impacting the development of children. Every year Israeli forces kill, maim, orphan and detain hundreds of children of all ages. The resulting trauma is often unaddressed. This coercive environment critically violates the right to life of Palestinian children, preventing them from exercising the right of every child to grow up in safety and dignity. This experience has been characterised as ‘unchilding’, meaning depriving children of the normalcy, lightness and innocence of childhood.  

For Palestinian children, life under occupation is a daily struggle; from witnessing the heartbreak of their parents watching their confiscated land being cultivated by settlers, to their grandparents longing to reunite with their land and homes behind walls; from unfinished homes self-demolished, leaving only a mortgage to pay; to their schools perpetually at risk of destruction. The deliberate violations of Palestinian children's rights call for urgent investigation, deployment of protective measures and a durable political solution that addresses the root causes. This aligns with the broader goal of realising the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and safety and security for everyone in the region. 

Issued By:

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967

Delivered To:

Seventy-eight session of General Assembly