United Nations: The UN investigator for the Palestinian territories on Thursday urged increased protection for children in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
   
Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur for the territories, told the General Assembly's human rights committee on Thursday that long-term occupation has dramatic effects on children's health and well-being.
   
The retired American law Professor also called for better guidelines for minors arrested by Israeli military officials.
   
Falk said he's especially concerned about reports of violence against Palestinian children during arrest and detention procedures by Israeli military authorities. He noted that there has been an increase in the detentions of minors in recent years, mostly on allegations of stone-throwing at Israeli settlers and troops.
   
There was no immediate response from the Israeli mission to the United Nations on a request for comment on Falk's report.
   
Falk has previously angered Israel by comparing the Jewish state to Nazi Germany and accusing it of crimes against humanity because of its treatment of Palestinians. Israel currently bars Falk from visiting the Palestinian territories, a situation he described as a "disappointment" that made it difficult for him to do his job.
   
In his report, Falk described an incident in which a 3-year old girl allegedly was taken outside her home at 3 am and threatened at gunpoint to reveal her brother's whereabouts.

(Agencies)