"To date more than 40 Gaza children have been killed in Israeli airstrikes. With the recent murder of three Israeli teenagers and the killing of a Palestinian teenager, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is becoming a war on children."
In a letter to the member organisations of Education International in Israel and Palestine, EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen has expressed "deep concern about the ever increasing number of civilian victims in Gaza caused by Israeli military action against Hamas." Without disputing the right of Israel to defend itself against missile attacks that were launched from Gaza, there is little or no justification for Israel's disproportional response, according to Van Leeuwen .
"While condemning Palestinian extremists' attacks on innocent civilians in Israel, EI is of the view that peace will not be achieved as long as the Palestinian people are to live under siege and are denied their basic human rights as recognized by the United Nations (UN)."
With reference to the statement adopted by EI's World Congress in 2011, the EI General Secretary has requested the education unions of Israel and Palestine "to make every possible effort to persuade your government to show respect for human life on either side of the border, to ensure in particular the safety and protection of children, and to heed the call of The UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefirein line with that agreed in November 2012."