• Elmyrah
    forgets all the tensions in Hebron when she is on stage
  • Hamza and Assil
    They were forced to flee the Gaza Strip
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Occupied Palestinian Territory

Children in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) grow up in an uncertain atmosphere where the threat of violence is never far away

CHILDREN

The political and security situation inside the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), though always tense, has remained stable following the violent upheavals of 2014 and 2015. Yet large numbers remain in need of humanitarian assistance - particularly children and young people.
Today, children in Gaza live in constant fear of another surge of violence - most have witnessed several armed conflicts already in their lives and over 6,000 Palestine refugee families remain displaced after the conflict in 2014 . Conditions in Gaza continue to deteriorate under the detrimental effects of the ten-year blockade; some 60 per cent of Gazan youth are now without work or meaningful occupation, and access to food, electricity and basic necessities is regularly disrupted. The fundamental human rights of people in Gaza are not upheld, and the resulting psychological distress is evident within the population.

In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, violence against children remains a grave concern; in homes, in schools, through conflicts with Israeli forces in which children continue to be killed, and through military arrest and detention practices against children as young as 12.
Settlement construction continues unabated, fuelling heightened tensions in and between communities. Many Palestinian children experience constant fear of displacement or forced transfer, demolition of their homes and schools, or violent conflict with neighbouring settlements. Palestinians in East Jerusalem live in a tense and congested environment under close and often mutually antagonistic contact with Israeli forces. Safe play areas are scarce, and children playing in the street are exposed to risks of injury or violence.

WHAT WE DO

War Child works with local professional organisations, community groups and families inside the occupied Palestinian territory to protect children from harm and support their psychosocial well-being. We support children and their caregivers to develop the tools and self-confidence they need to cope with a difficult present and build a better future - both for themselves and their communities.

We create safe play and recreation spaces, where children exposed to conflict and occupation can get back to being children, and we train community members, especially young people, to support children in these spaces. At the same time we promote the resilience of families and caregivers, supporting them to deal with the stress of life under occupation, and to provide nurturing family environments which help buffer the impact of conflict on children.

We also teach children and the people who care for them about their rights under international laws and conventions to which Israel and the Palestinian Authority are both signatories. And when we see that children’s rights are violated, no matter by whom, we speak.