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Amnesty Cites Danger to Children in Israel-Palestinian Conflict - 2002-10-01

Amnesty International says children are increasingly bearing the brunt of deadly violence between the Israeli military forces and Palestinians.

In a report issued Monday the human rights group says more than 250 Palestinian children and 72 Israeli children have been killed since the current uprising began two years ago.

The London-based group blames both sides for the deaths and urged leaders to develop a new attitude that restores respect for human life.

The report also blames both sides for failing to bring the killers to justice, and said such impunity creates an atmosphere where children have little or no value.

Amnesty also called for international monitors in the region, a move the Israel rejects.

The report says most Palestinian deaths occur when the Israeli army uses what Amnesty calls unlawful and excessive force in responding to stone-throwers.

In one incident two years ago, Amnesty said a 12-year-old boy died when Israeli soldiers fire into a crowd of school children, some of whom were throwing stones.

The rights group says most of the Israeli deaths were the result of Palestinian suicide bombers. The report described one attack outside a nightclub last June that killed 12 children.