Dr. Sameeh Abu Zakia, director of the Palestinian Children Arts Center and an activist in the rights of children, called on all Palestinian political, educational, health and civil institutions to act immediately in order to protect the children in Palestine, and to avoid their participation in any conflict in order to avoid any direct and indirect effects on them and their healthy growth.Dr. Abu Zakia stated that it is the responsibility of every institution and every resident to protect the children and to provide them with the needed safety and security.
He stated that 25 million children are affected on annual basis by conflicts in the Arab world; these direct and indirect effects are inflicted on them through wars, conflicts, abductions and misplacement, and that they are not receiving the needed food, and the basic health, education and relief services.
Dr. Abu Zakia stated that those children are traumatized by what they witness during conflicts, internal fighting and wars, and added that article number 17 of the Geneva Convention, and the Children Rights Agreement (article 38) state that everyone must protect and take care of the children during wars.
Also, the Arab League approved an action plan that should be implements between the years 2004 and 2015 in order to guarantee the safety of children, and their protection as they are living under occupation, armed conflicts and are being subjected to forced relocation and displacement.
Dr. Abu Zakia said that Palestinian children are facing serious violations to their rights and to their wellbeing due to the Israeli violations, siege, shelling, house demolishing, checkpoints and closures, and that they are living under conditions of war.
He added that the percentage of children in Palestine is 53, which is a large portion of the society that should be protected and provided with a healthy environment, while the Israeli occupation and the internal clashes between the Palestinian gunmen are directly affecting them and affecting their healthy growth.