10/21/11 (AEIN) An expert in human rights working for the U.N. spoke to the General Assembly on Thursday and described the treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities and settlers. Richard Falk stated that the mistreatment had serious long-term effects and he urged Israel to change its policies, according to a U.N. statement.
Falk explained that children in the Gaza Strip are subject to sonic booms regularly produced by Israeli aircraft and military attacks which destroy homes and refugee camps. He warned that the situation had caused depression, stress and anxiety for many children, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in some instances.
The human rights expert also described mistreatment of children in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where Israeli settlers commit violence unchecked by the authorities. Meanwhile, soldiers carry out late night raids and demolish homes. Falk stated that authorities also abuse children detained for throwing stones at soldiers or settlers.
He pointed to the fact that numerous children no longer go to school in the West Bank because settlers regularly harass them. Falk also told the General Assembly the story of a girl only three years old who was removed from her home late at night and threatened with execution if she did not reveal the location of her brother.
Mr. Falk called upon the Israeli government to change its practices regarding Palestinian children and permit the delivery of supplies to Gaza so that infrastructure may be repaired. Israel maintains a blockade on the Gaza Strip and has used force to prevent flotillas from delivering supplies via the Mediterranean Sea.