Resolutions Regarding Children Under Israeli Military Occupation
2017 General Assembly: A Call for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to Advocate for the Rights of Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation
2017 General Synod: A Call for the United Church of Christ to Advocate for the Rights of Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation
50 years ago in the 1967 War, Israel occupied the Palestinian lands of the West Bank and Gaza and has since implemented a two-tiered legal system in these territories: civil law for Israeli settlers (whose settlements are illegal according to international law); and military law for Palestinians, denying them their basic and fundamental rights. Palestinian children and youth are therefore subject to military arrest and prosecution by Israel, the only country that systematically does so in military courts. Palestinian children are subject to physical and verbal abuse, strip searches, solitary confinement, coerced confessions, and separation from their parents and legal counsel.
The United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), through Global Ministries, has partners in Israel/Palestine who have appreciated our witness for peace and justice, and have expressed support for these resolutions.
The resolutions call for:
- Attention to the plight of children suffering under Israel’s prolonged military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. In particular, these resolutions name the traumatic situation of children living with constant fear of arrest, detention, and violence at the hands of Israeli forces.
- To advocate for the human rights of the children of Palestine. These resolutions insist that, from the moment of arrest, all operations and procedures imposed on Palestinian children be carried out in accordance with international juvenile justice standards, specifically the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel ratified in 1991.
- The United States government to adhere to U.S. laws concerning human rights violations and the disbursement of military aid and assistance to Israeli armed forces.
- The United States Senate to join with 194 other nations in ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
UCNews report on the action by General Synod
In implementation of the resolution, UCC and Disciples leadership have sent a letter to these US governmental officials:
- President Donald Trump
- Vice President Michael Pence
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
- Leadership of the Senate, including relevant committee majority and minority leaders, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee
and a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.
Related to the Resolution
“How Are the Children?” – A UCC Palestine Israel Network (PIN) educational resource including a two-part video, study guide, and webpage, focusing specifically on this issue.
March 2019: a UCC PIN newsletter update on ways the resource has been used
“Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act” – Legislation introduced into the US House of Representatives on 4/30/2019 by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) – H.R. 2407
- Faith leaders support H.R. 2407, Nov. 18. 2019
- Rep. McCollum’s press release, May 1, 2019
- Rep. McCollum’s resource page on H.R. 2407
- “No Way To Treat A Child” campaign’s resource page in support of H.R. 2407
- House Bill Aims to Curb Israeli Abuse of Palestinian Children,” an article by Robert Mackey in The Intercept, May 1, 2019
- “Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, Pressley, Jayapal co-sponsor historic Palestinian children’s human rights bill,” an article on Mondoweiss, June 13, 2019
[H.R. 2407 bill is similar to the bill introduced by Rep. McCollum in Nov. 2017, Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children – Legislation introduced into the US House of Representatives on 11/14/17 by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) – H.R.4391]
US Tax Dollars Must Not Be Used to Detain Palestinian Children – Dec 11, 2017 Op-Ed written by Rep. McCollum
“It’s Time to End US Blank Check Military Aid to Israel,” by Peter Beinart in The Forward, May 20, 2019.
2018 B’Tselem Report – Minors in Jeopardy: Violations of the Rights of Palestinian Minors by Israel’s Military Courts
2017 B’Tselem Report – Unprotected: The Detention of Palestinian Children in East Jerusalem
Defense for Children International – Palestine
- April 2016 Detention Bulletin
- April 2016 Report – No Way to Treat a Child: Palestinian Children in the Israeli Military Detention System
- Issue Factsheet: Military Detention
- Americans for Middle East Understanding’s The Link issue on Palestinian Children in Military Detention
- March 2013 Briefing Paper – Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations
- October 2013 – Bulletin No. 1 progress report
- February 2015 – Bulletin No. 2 progress report
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
“Imprisoning a Generation”-a documentary film presenting testimony of four children and their families on the reality of unjust child detention and incarceration.
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights – US Military Aid to Israel: Policy Implications and Options
The Intercept – Israel Uses US Tax Dollars to Abuse Palestinian Children. This Bill Would Put an End to That.
Report: Palestinian children speak of beatings in Israeli detention (Al-Jazeera English, Feb. 13, 2018)
The Intercept – “The Homecoming: How Ahed Tamimi became the symbol of Palestinian resistance to Israeli oppression,” a special feature article on child detentions (July 31, 2018)
Democracy Now – “Meet Ahed Tamimi,” an interview that highlights her own experience and the issue of Israeli detention of Palestinians, including children and youth