The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) says fifteen Palestinian minors have lost their lives during skirmishes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli military forces in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip since the beginning of the current year.
The official statistical institution of Palestine said in a statement on Sunday that three of the victims were in the age group of 13-15 years, while the rest were in the age bracket 16-17 years.
The statement added that Israel is holding some 300 minors in prisons and detention facilities across the occupied territories. The PCBS further noted that it has documented around 4,000 cases of child arrests since October 2015, and that most of the detainees have been released.
The Ramallah-based organization added that Israeli authorities demolished 418 homes and 646 sheds last year, leaving around 848 children homeless.
The PCBS made the announcement on the eve of United Nations Universal Children’s Day on November 20.
Earlier this year, Defense for Children International (DCI), a Geneva-based NGO focusing on children’s rights, reported that 2016 saw the highest number of Palestinian children killed by Israeli troops over the past decade, warning that Tel Aviv is not being held accountable for its lethal attacks.
The report by DCI, a Geneva-based NGO focusing on children’s rights, noted that 35 children were killed and 83 others injured by Israeli troops last year.
It warned that Israeli forces are not being held accountable for using firearms against the Palestinian protesters and stone-throwers.
Thirty-two of them were killed in the occupied West Bank, out of whom 19 children were between the ages of 16 and 17 and 13 others were between 13 and 15 years old, the report said.
The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tension ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.
More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since the beginning of October 2015. The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds over the past decades by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population. Palestinians say the Israeli measures are aimed at paving the way for the Judaization of the city.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a flash point Islamic site, which is also holy to Jews. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.—Agencies