Jerusalem24 – Wake Up Palestine – Throughout the years, Palestinian children have been the victims of the ongoing occupation of Palestine. Palestinian children have been killed by the Israeli military, sometimes by accident and other times shot for no reason.
In the Gaza Strip where Israel declared war against Hamas, various Israeli confrontations and raids have resulted in the deaths of numerous children. The attacks often target public places that have turned into refuges for civilians, like schools, hospitals, etc. In addition to the lost lives, tens of thousands of children are injured and some are left disabled for life.
“Flashbacks, nightmares, agoraphobia: even children are not spared from the repercussions of war,” UNICEF lamented after conducting a study about children living in the Gaza Strip. They are traumatized, with 88% afflicted by fear.
In Palestine, approximately 70% of children go to primary school. Access to education is difficult for children who live in refugee camps and villages that do not have a school. According to a 2013 UNICEF study, more than 2,500 children within educated communities travel through at least one checkpoint per day to go to school – a situation that contributes to school dropouts and child labor.
Despite all the challenges and problems that face Palestinian children, there are those that refuse to give up. Yasmeen El-Hasan, a Palestinian living in Diaspora returns every summer to implement what she calls the “Sawtak Al Alem” Program. A passion project for her community in Ya’bad, near Jenin. An area that has been witness to a lot of Israeli military incursions after the escape of six Palestinian detainees from the high-security Gilboa Prison facility.
In this episode of Wake Up Palestine, Mohammad Hamayel speaks with Yasmeen El-Hasan about the program, how she hopes it will help Palestinian children in her community and what she aims to achieve.