UN's Falk: Israel violates Palestinian children's rights

Special rapporteur to Palestinian territories decries arrests of children in W. Bank, Gaza blockade; claims Israel not acting to stop settler violence.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 21, 2011 01:54
2 minute read.
UN investigator Richard Falk.

UN Richard Falk 311 . (photo credit: Reuters)

A UN official on Thursday accused Israel of violating the human rights of Palestinian children in Gaza and the West Bank, and contended that the Jewish State was not acting to prevent settler violence against Palestinians.

“Prolonged occupation deforms the development of children through pervasive deprivations affecting health, education, and overall security,” UN Special Rapporteur to the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk said in a statement to a General Assembly committee.

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“The insecurity of Palestinian children is aggravated in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem by settler violence and night time raids and detentions by Israeli occupation forces, house demolitions, threatened expulsions, and a host of other practices,” he added.

Falk stated that the number of Palestinian children arrested has risen in the past four years and that there has been a 50 percent increase in settler violence this year.

“The failure to prevent and punish settler violence remains a serious and ongoing violation of Israel’s fundamental legal obligation to protect the civilian population,” he said.

The UN official also decried Israel's naval blockade of Gaza, urging the international community to “urgently allow entry to Gaza of material needed for repair of water and electricity infrastructure” to avoid deterioration of the health of civilians, particularly children who are in a critical condition.

Falk faced calls that he resign in July after he posted on his personal blog a cartoon of a dog with a kippah urinating on a statue of Lady Justice, and alleged that arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court against Muammar Gaddafi were politically motivated. 

US envoy to the UN, Joseph M. Torsella, called on Falk to resign as did Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. The Anti-Defamation League and B’nai B’rith also weighed in, calling on Falk to step down.

Falk said that posting the cartoon “was a mistake and I regret it,” but said that he would not resign.

Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.


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