The New Profile Report on Child Recruitment in Israel

The present report examines the many and varied forms in which children are being recruited by the Israeli armed forces and by Jewish militias. A parallel report has been prepared by a Palestinian human rights group – Defence for Children International in Palestine – examining the recruitment of Palestinian children. Together, we hope that these  two reports will prove to be a first step in a concentrated effort, aiming to take children out ofthe Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Such an effort,  we hope, can be joined by almost everybody on both sides, regardless of their position on the political and other issues involved. 

The Israeli human rights group  B’tselemreports that 903 Palestinian children and 109 Jewish-Israeli children have been killed in hostilities between 29September 2000 and 30 June 2004.


Sadly, some of the combatants on both sides of the conflict consider children on the other side to be ‘fair game’. It is not the purpose of this report to examine the overall effects the conflict in general, and the present round of hostilities in particular, have on children in the region. Rather, we focus here on the ways in which children are made into participants of the conflict, on the various direct and indirect ways in which they are recruited. 


As Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu put it, “Children should be playing, not being pawns in dangerous adult games”. Child recruitment cynically violates  the rights of children, and stopping it is a worthy cause in its own right. But we also hope that by drawing children out of the circle of present, and hopefully also future, participants in the conflictit will be possible to remove them from the circle of 

victims as well, and this, one could hope, would bea first step in the direction of resolving the conflict itself. We would like this report, together with its counterpart, to provide information and analysis  to be used for these noble goals. 


We should stress, though, that while we made an effort to present in this report a broad survey of the various forms of child recruitment for Israeli armed forces and groups, one that would allow for a more comprehensive analysis of the overall situation, we could not possibly cover  allforms of child recruitment in Israel, and there is obviously ampleroom for further research and study in the field. 


Download the PDF attached to read the full report