Under the leadership of Joint List Chairman, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), MK Dov Khenin (Hadash – Joint List), MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) and MK Ksenia Svetlova (Labor Party), a Knesset forum will be held today, Monday, July 2, about the impact of the Israeli occupation on the lives of Palestinian children in the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.
According to a report in Al Ittihad, the daily newspaper of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI), the forum will focus on various impacts of the occupation on the lives of Palestinian children: “poverty, restrictions on movement, lack of electricity, water and education, as well as child arrests, discriminatory laws that hinder family unification and the effects of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.”
Together with the members of the Knesset, senior personnel from Israeli human rights and peace organizations will take part in the forum including representatives from B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Combatants for Peace, Physicians for Human Rights, Hamoked, and Gisha.
Al Ittihad also reported that foreign diplomatic figures such as the ambassadors from the European Union, the Netherlands, and the deputy British ambassador are expected to participate.
“Fifty-one years of occupation have left an entire generation of children without a future,” the invitation to the event reads. “The governments of Israel have produced a smokescreen to obscure the direct impact of the occupation on the civilian population in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Children on both sides of the conflict did not choose to be born into a bloody reality, and we cannot create a different future for them without dialogue. The only way out of the cycle of violence is to end the occupation.”
During the meeting, Arab children from east Jerusalem will give testimony about their lives, and a film produced especially for the event will present data on the lives of Arab children from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.