Since the second Intifada and till this day, Israeli occupation has been targeting Palestinian children in many violations including murder, detention, and denial of freedom of movement. Since the last events in 2013, Israeli occupation forces have arrested approximately 500 Palestinian children. Today, 300 children are Palestinian children are imprisoned, 190 of them are under the age of 15.
Since the year 2013, IOF have arrested approximately 100 Palestinian children from Aida Refugee Camp, whether it was from their homes, alleys of the camp, or while on their way to school or Lajee center or garden, which is annexed to the wall and the 300 military checkpoint.
Since its establishment in 2000, the Lajee Center has been involved in many recreational, cultural, social, artistic, and sports activities. The center now has 150 children who are permanently active in the annual and continuing projects at the center.
Lajee center is subjected to such violations at any moment, starting with the storming of the center or the garden, throwing gas bombs inside and outside the building, with children and employees in it. The building has been attacked several times, and many children have been injured over the years.
Three of Lajee's volunteers, Mustafa Budair, Omar Radi and Mu'taz Barak'a, have gone through this on 6 October 2016. They were arrested in the middle of the night for their presence near the ISraeli military base annexed to the camp the day before. During detention, soldiers asked why they were there, and the children responded saying that they go to their football training at the center, in addition to the Dabkeh dance training. The children were detained and kept in prison for four days before finally being released without any charges.
On 5 June 2017, 14-year-old Mustafa Bedair was arrested from his family home at midnight. Mustafa is still imprisoned in Israeli jail , and is not allowed to contact anyone of his family or anyone outside the prison since he is in the investigation period.
Budair is an active member of the Lajee Dabka troupe and has participated in many local and national performances in the West Bank. He was expected to participate in representing the center and the Palestinian cause in the UK this year. He is one of the distinguished children in the Lajee Football team and had received many awards and honored for his ranking in football.
This story is one child's story, out of 2000 in Aida camp. Those children continue to suffer from ongoing violations and oppression by the Israeli occupation.
We hope that Mustafa and all the children are released from Israeli jails, and the children and their families are given their full rights without fear or suffering.