Children everywhere deserve to experience life in all its fullness. Yet that is far from the reality for children in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
In Gaza and West Bank combined, since demonstrations began on 30 March 2018, approximately 113 people have been killed, including 13 children, and a total of 12,600 people injured. In these past two days alone (15 and 16 May), at least 62 people were killed, including eight children, and a total of 2,270 were injured.
World Vision works in nearly 100 countries around the world, on all continents and in all contexts. Our work in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories remains one of the most challenging places where we operate, and one of the most difficult for children. That’s why we have been there for more than 40 years. The unresolved political conflict means children on both sides live in fear, understand each other as enemies and cannot imagine life without the endless cycles of war and strife. This must end.
We hope that leaders will prioritise the rights of children. Ongoing conflict in this region is one of the most enduring causes of poverty. It has robbed generations of Palestinian and Israeli children of peace, security, and, most of all, hope that fullness of life is possible. This cannot continue.
The politics of the conflict have exacerbated poverty, which is rampant in the West Bank and especially Gaza. All children in the region live in fear of violence and are negatively affected by this enduring conflict. Leaders can alleviate that suffering by prioritising the interests of children.
For these children, we urge leaders to ensure peace, justice, reconciliation and humanitarian access.
Loss of trust in adults, fear of the events recurring, disruptive behaviour, depression, outbursts of anger and fighting, emotional numbing, anti-social behaviour, and self-destructive thoughts, to name just a few, are the most typical reactions to trauma experienced by children. Not providing, or starting then stopping, treatment for this kind of trauma only worsens the experiences of children.
World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.