'The occupation kills children': Gaza holds an art festival to expose Israel's crimes
Under the title of "The Occupation Kills Children", the festival was organised by 26 local cultural and nongovernment institutions in Gaza, on the rubble of houses located in Dir al-Balah in the central of Gaza, which was completely destroyed by the Israeli warplanes last month.
Some drew graffiti paintings on the remains of rubbles, others display their figures simulating the fears of children during the Israeli aggression on Gaza, while groups of children performed a tragical theatrical play of a mother who lost all her kids in a sudden Israeli airstrike.
"We decided to use the arts to deliver our message to the world that there are children in Gaza who have been suffering from Israeli crimes for a while," Fedaa Younis, the coordinator of the festival, spoke to The New Arab.
Endless Israeli aggression leaves Gaza's children with mental health challengeshttps://t.co/4VZsuyDm49— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) June 1, 2023
"If any child in the world is exposed to any harm, the world will rise up to support him, but the children of Gaza are subjected to killing, destruction, displacement and fear, and no one cares about them," Younis said.
"We need the world to support the Palestinians, namely the children, and pressure Israel to stop all its crimes against our children to allow them to live in peace in their country," she added.
In May, Israel launched a five-day conflict against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) which left at least 34 Palestinians killed, mainly women and children, and more than 100 wounded.
Following massive efforts by mediators, Egyptians announced a ceasefire agreement between Israel and the PIJ to end the bloody attack on Gaza, which also destroyed and damaged dozens of residential buildings.
28 out of the dead were children, according to the Hamas-run Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, while tens of others were wounded.
"In a bid to focus on Israeli crimes, I have participated in this festival through my gravity paintings to win for the Palestinian children whose houses were destroyed and who lived through many unjust Israeli wars," Mohammed Siam, a Gaza-based local artist, said to TNA.
"The Palestinian child who did not find a supportive voice in the Arab world and the Western world, and whose rights and childhood were taken away because of the Israeli occupation," he added.
Two days ago, Palestine officially called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to add Israel to the list of parties liable for grave violations against children.
During the international conference held in the Norwegian capital of Oslo, Riyad Mansour the Palestinian foreign minister called on the international community to protect the Palestinian children in armed conflicts.
Additionally, he urged UN member states to support the moral, political, and legal measures against Israel, saying it is a necessary and important step towards protecting children during conflicts.
Those included in the blacklist may be subject to sanctions by the Security Council for their violations and must sign and implement a UN action plan to end their violations in order to be removed from the list