Statement by Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa
“UNICEF is deeply concerned by the recent escalation of violence in Jenin, in the West Bank. According to the latest reports, at least three children were killed yesterday, and many others were injured, while hundreds of families have been displaced by the ongoing fighting. In the local refugee camp, critical utilities, such as water and electricity, are interrupted."
UNICEF calls for the immediate cessation of armed violence
“UNICEF deplores all acts of violence against children and calls for the immediate cessation of armed violence. Children must always be protected from all forms of violence, and grave violations, and all parties have an obligation to protect civilians – especially children – according to international humanitarian and human rights laws."
The escalation of violence follows the deadliest year for children in the West Bank in 18 years
“In the last two years, children have witnessed recurrent cycles of violence with three escalations in and around the Gaza Strip and numerous conflict-related incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. UNICEF is particularly concerned by the increase of violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. As of the beginning of 2023, 33 children - 27 Palestinians and 6 Israelis were killed. These numbers are almost as high as for the entire year of 2022, which was already considered the deadliest year for children in the West Bank since 2004."
Grave violations against children are unacceptable
“Grave violations against children, including killing and maiming, are unacceptable. UNICEF urges all parties to afford children the special protection they are entitled to, protect their right to life, and refrain from using violence, especially against children, no matter who or where they are. An end to recurring violence is the best way to ensure children can grow up in peace and safety.”