Thursday, 20 December 2012

Study: Older children hit hardest by Gaza war


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Older children were more affected by Israel's war on the Gaza Strip than younger children, a survey by UNICEF found.

UNICEF worked with the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution and Birzeit University to conduct a rapid psycho-social assessment of children in the hardest-hit areas of the Gaza Strip, four days after the Nov. 21 ceasefire.

Around three-quarters of the children surveyed had witnessed at least four violent events during the 8-day war.

"Older children reported significantly more experience in witnessing violent events, with no difference in exposure between boys and girls. The highest levels of children witnessing violence were found in Gaza City, followed by Khan Younis and north Gaza," UNICEF said in a statement.

Meanwhile, 83 percent reported that their homes were damaged or destroyed in the war. Of those surveyed, 14 percent were injured by Israeli shelling. more

Attacks on Palestinian media unlawful says Human Rights Watch


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's attacks on journalists and media facilities during its assault on Gaza in November violated the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

The attacks in mid-November killed two cameramen, wounded 10 employees of media organizations and caused serious damage to media and offices housing them.

Human Rights Watch says a detailed investigation found no evidence that the sites were being used for military objectives, despite such assertions by the Israeli army and government.

“Just because Israel says a journalist was a fighter or a TV station was a command center does not make it so,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

“Journalists who praise Hamas and TV stations that applaud attacks on Israel may be propagandists, but that does not make them legitimate targets under the laws of war.” more