Police Ban World Children’s Day Event in Tel-Aviv

Tel-Aviv police ban Monday an event under the title “The cry of the children living in the shadow of the war,” on World Children’s Day.As children pay a shocking price in lost lives and endless suffering in the current war in Gaza, 14 Israeli organizations united to organize the event, in the invitation they wrote: “Children are children. Over five million girls and boys live under fire! On Monday, International Children’s Rights Day, we will all meet to shout the cry of the children, all living in the shadow of the war for over 40 days and nights.”

Israelis whose family members are being held abducted by Hamas in Gaza since Oct 7, during a National Security committee meeting in the Knesset on November 20, 2023 (Photo: Knesset)

They called for: “Promote a prisoner and abductee deal immediately, to allow everyone to return to their families,” and to act out of the fracture, the collapse and the loss – and to move towards an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, which begins with the cessation of hostilities, as the only way to ensure security for all of us.”

Among the organizations that signed the joint statement were Academia for Equality; Combatants for Peace; Hadash, Democratic Front for Peace and Equality; Looking the Occupation in the Eye; Machsom Watch; Mothers Against Violence; Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality; Parents Against Child Detention; Parents Circle Families; Rabbis for Human Rights; Social Workers for Peace and Welfare; Tandi – Movement of Democratic Women in Israel and Gisha.

By law, such a gathering does not require any license. But on the morning of November 20, officers from the Tel Aviv police called the organizers and demanded that they apply for one. Seeking to avoid confrontation, after previous silent vigils were violently attacked by the police, the organizers quickly filled out the necessary forms. The answer from the police was also quick: the event was forbidden.

Also on Monday, several hundred demonstrators joined another protest on World Children’s Day in front the offices of UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, as participants chanted: “UN do your job!”  Demonstrators held Israeli flags, portraits of the children and stuffed toys, with a projector casting enormous pictures of their names, faces and ages. At least 33 Israeli children were killed on 7 October, and, according to the Israeli military spokesperson, 40 children are held hostage in Gaza. 

As of 10 November, (latest update provided) 4,506 Palestinian children were killed and about 1,500 have been reported missing and may be trapped or dead under the rubble, awaiting rescue or recovery, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. The number of children killed so far has exceeded annual figures in all war zones since 2019, according to Save the Children.

Related: https://maki.org.il/en/?p=31330