Congressional Briefing: 50 Years of Israeli Military Occupation & Life for Palestinian Children

Jun 8 2017


Cannon House Office Building, Rm 122
27 Independence Ave, SE,
Washington, DC 20003

Sponsored by Defense for Children International – Palestine & American Friends Service Committee.

Join us for a briefing to mark 50 years since Israeli forces occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in June 1967. Children under 18 years old currently represent 46 percent of the 4.68 million Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory. This current generation has grown up in the shadow of failed negotiations and with futures stifled by systemic discrimination, persistent settlement expansion, blockade, and repeated military offensives.

Panelists will examine how persistent grave human rights violations, systemic impunity, discrimination, and a hyper-militarized environment affect the lives of the Palestinian children growing up under a military occupation with no end in sight.

Amid rapidly escalating violence across the Occupied Palestinian Territory since October 2015, Palestinian children have been increasingly subjected to disproportionate violence. Last year proved to be the deadliest in a decade for West Bank children, with 32 child fatalities at the hands of Israeli forces and security guards. In just the first four months of 2017, Israeli forces killed six Palestinian children, according to documentation by Defense for Children International – Palestine.

In Gaza, nearing ten years of military blockade, children continue to slip deeper into poverty, with many still living in protracted displacement. Despite overwhelming and repeated evidence of war crimes committed by Israeli forces during the 2014 military assault on Gaza, dubbed ‘Operation Protective Edge’ including direct attacks on civilians, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilian homes, schools, and residential neighborhoods that left at least 547 Palestinian children dead, justice and accountability for these children remain elusive.

Join Defense for Children International – Palestine, American Friends Service Committee as we explore what it means to live under military occupation for those bearing its greatest brunt: Palestinian children. Until we demand Israeli authorities comply with international law, we are simply enabling abuse and perpetuating injustice against Palestinian children.  


  • Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director, Human Rights Watch
  • Brad Parker, Staff Attorney and International Advocacy Officer, Defense for Children International Palestine
  • Nadia Ben-Youssef, Director, Adalah Justice Project
  • Yazan Meqbil, Leonard Education Organization scholar and student at Goshen College