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West Bank: Palestinian children’s right to play

The West Bank is divided into three areas: A (full Palestinian control), B (Israeli military control, Palestinian administrative control), and C (full Israeli control), as outlined in the Oslo II Agreement. The agreement, meant to be temporary, has not led to full Palestinian control over the West Bank, and a "final status negotiation" is pending. As part of our study on the development rights of children living in de unrecognized states, we visited this area and studied the rights of children living here. As with all our case studies, we studied the right of all children living in this area. In this case, this means that we have two separate case studies, since two communities live separately in this territory (although their cities and villages are right next to each other). This blog category shares the research on children’s rights for Palestinian children living in the West Bank. Below you find all the blogs and vlogs related to this case study.

17 April 2024 - By Esther Hertog  and Marieke Hopman

We had the opportunity of interviewing two sisters residing in Bardala, a village situated in the northern Jordan Valley, in the West Bank. Our conversation delved into their experiences during raids, the fears they grapple with, their dreams, and the stark reality they face. It was an emotionally charged talk, navigating through a spectrum of feelings. However, it is crucial to lend an ear to their narratives and understand their unique perspectives and realities.

27 March 2024 - By Esther Hertog and Marieke Hopman

In this vlog, we meet Adam, a 15 year old Palestinian boy residing in Al-Arroub, a Palestinian refugee camp located in the southern West Bank. Our conversation delves into the rights children should have, particularly the right to play, in an area lacking playgrounds and other safe spaces. We explore the difficulties face by Adam and his community amidst a challenging and violent environment. Join us as we shine a spotlight on their struggles, examining the impact of the Israeli occupation and the insufficient responses from the UN and public committees.

Please note that the footage for this video was filmed in spring 2023.

19 December 2023 - By Esther Hertog and Marieke Hopman

Driving through the West Bank can be confusing and complicated. The West Bank is divided up in three different administrative areas: Area A, B and C. In some areas Israelis are not allowed, while in other areas Palestinians cannot enter. Some roads are only for the use of Israelis, some roads only for Palestinians and there are many Israeli military checkpoints in the area.

Area A, B, and C refer to specific divisions of administrative and security control in the West Bank: 

  • Area A is under full control of the Palestinian Authority.
  • Area B is under Palestinian civil control and Israeli security control. 
  • Area C is under full Israeli civil and security control.

You can see an interactive map of these Areas on the website of B’Tselem (The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories).

Whether or not you can travel through Israel, military checkpoints or enter Israeli settlements, also depends on what ID and nationality you have. Israeli citizens, settlers and Palestinians from East Jerusalem have blue IDs and cars with yellow license plates. People with a blue ID can enter Israel. Palestinian citizens have a green ID and white with green license plates, they need a permit to enter Israel. To make things more complicated, some Palestinians with an Israeli Blue ID and cars with yellow license plates live in the West Bank (on the Palestinian side of the wall). Because of all these factors, when driving through the West Bank, you must always think beforehand whether you can pass on the roads that Google Maps or Waze (a map application that is used locally) advise you. The shortest roads might lead through a checkpoint that you cannot pass. The directions might take you through areas that you might not be allowed to enter.

Footage for this video was filmed in spring 2023. Since the start of the Israel/Hamas war, Israel has closed most checkpoints, and it is often not safe to travel around in the West Bank. Palestinians with permits to enter Israel, are now not allowed to enter Israel anymore. Roads between major cities are closed.

12 December 2023 -  By Esther Hertog and Marieke Hopman

In this vlog, we visit Nusreen, an 11 years old Palestinian girl who lives in Huwara. Their family home was recently attacked by Israeli settlers. The video was taken during our research visit in spring 2022. At the time, settler attacks were more rare. Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, sources report daily settler attacks on Palestinians.