UN: Palestinian youth oppose violence to resolve conflict

UN: Palestinian youth oppose violence to resolve conflict Jerusalem - Nearly 70 per cent of Palestinian young adults believe the use of violence to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not very helpful, according to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) study released Tuesday.

Only 8 per cent believe violence is an important tool, the study, based on interviews with 1,200 Palestinians over the age of 17 in the West Bank and Gaza.

The study also found out that more than 80 per cent of young Palestinians are depressed, and 47 per cent identify themselves as Muslim rather than Palestinian.

It found that 39 per cent were "extremely" depressed and 42 per cent were depressed by their conditions. Depression was more marked in the Gaza Strip where 55 per cent said they were "extremely" depressed.

When asked to define their identity, 47 per cent identified themselves as Muslims, 28 per cent as Palestinians, 14 per cent as humans and 10 per cent as Arabs.

"Young people are exceptionally vulnerable in a conflict situation. They are more likely to be injured, arrested or sucked into harmful situations," said Jens Toyberg-Frandzen, special representative for UNDP's Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People.

"At UNDP we have always understood that you cannot develop an economy or a nation without developing its youth, particularly when the economic and political environment appears to offer limited hope," he said.

Unemployment rates for Palestinian youth range from 35 per cent in the West Bank to 51 per cent in Gaza, said UNDP.

The survey of attitudes of Palestinian youth was part of a report commissioned by the UNDP and presented to a workshop designed to plan a strategy for youth development for the Palestinian Authority. (dpa)

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