Since Israel’s 2005 disengagement from Gaza, the residents of Israel near Gaza have been living under fire, with rockets, terrorist tunnels, booby traps, and burning fields and tires. Israeli children living near Gaza haven’t had a day or night without fear of Red Alerts, fear of being killed in their homes by rocket attacks or infiltration of terrorists into their communities.
These Israeli children are denied all basic rights: the right to a normal life, the right to security, the right to go to school and the right to play outside without fear, the right to sleep peacefully in a regular room, not in a shelter, the right to live without missile alerts on a daily basis and the right to breathe fresh air and not the thick smoke of burning tires.
Nov. 20, Universal Children’s Day, marks the anniversary of the day that the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. While we identify with the suffering of children all over the world, the international community should care for all children equally – Israeli children as well as Palestinian children.