Playgrounds for Palestine, a Pennsylvania-based children’s rights organization, learned today that one of the play spaces it created in the Aida Refugee Camp was tear-gassed while it was full of children engaged in play. According to Al Jazeera Stream, Israel is the alleged culprit. Further, this is not the first time that Israeli military occupation forces have fired into the Aida refugee camp.

On February 8, 2015, around 3:30 pm, Aida’s CCTV showed children, some clearly very young, playing on the slides, swings, and climbing structures when a tear gas canister was fired in their midst. The footage then shows chaos, as children run for cover and adults run into rescue them from harm.


We deplore and condemn in the harshest terms this deliberate assault on children who continue to live under an illegal Israeli military occupation. As an organization based in the United States, we call on the US government to investigate these crimes and take measures to withhold military funding to all nations with such documented histories of targeting children.

This playground is the only place of play and recreation for children in the cramped refugee camp of Aida, which is populated by Palestinian refugees who were expelled from their homes by Israel to make way for foreign Jewish settlers. The deliberate targeting and terrorizing of children as seen in CCTV footage should be condemned by everyone with an intact moral compass.

Playgrounds for Palestine is a non-profit, US-based organization dedicated to upholding Palestinian children’s Right To Play, as stipulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. All inquires should be directed to contact@playgroundsforpalestine.org


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Play, while it cannot change the external realities of children’s lives, can be a vehicle for children to explore and enjoy their differences and similarities and to create, even for a brief time, a more just world where everyone is an equal and valued participant.