No fewer than 32 children have been killed over the past three years while working in Gaza arms smuggling tunnels, according to a new report released in the Palestinian Authority.
The report, prepared by an organization called the Palestinian National Society for Democracy and Law, was released on Saturday. It deals with the child abuse perpetrated on child laborers in the tunnels used to smuggle weapons, arms and other items from Egypt into Gaza.
The report attempts to shift some of the blame to Israel, emphasizing that it examined the period since mid-2006 when Israel “imposed a blockade” on Gaza and “restricted entry of goods.” It does not mention that Egypt, too, has imposed a similar blockade on Gaza.
Chinese news outlet Xinhua reports that the study also focused on child labor. It revealed that children under the age of 18 work for 12 hours a day in the tunnels, and that some of the children take a painkiller called Tramadol, as well as energy-giving drugs.
A total of 117 Arabs have been killed in the tunnels during the three years, mostly from cave-ins. The cave-ins are generally blamed on Israeli air raids, Egyptian detonation of tunnel-openings in the Egyptian-governed Sinai desert, and “natural circumstances.”