Luciano Mondino

The overlooked militarisation of children in Palestine

Islamic Jihad Kirdergarten graduation in Gaza. Flickr. 
Islamic Jihad Kirdergarten graduation in Gaza. Flickr. ´ (

Palestinian children are not the victims of Israel, but of the Palestinian leaders of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority who make them military targets.

Israel in just 24 hours suffered four consecutive terrorist attacks targeting its civilian population.

The Palestinians must be held accountable for why, while millions of dollars in humanitarian aid are being sent by various governments and international agencies, terrorist radicalisation of minors is increasing sharply and becoming the primary input of Palestinian terrorism in its war against Israel.

A Palestinian teenager was neutralized on Wednesday at the Shivtei tram station in Jerusalem after attacking an Israeli civilian with a knife. The 14-year-old attacker was from Beit Hanina, the mainly Arab sector of East Jerusalem, and was killed instantly. Israel in just 24 hours suffered four consecutive terrorist attacks targeting its civilian population.

Although there are also skeptics, Palestinian terrorism is one of the unfinished edges of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that has worsened the most in recent times, and here there is little blame to place on the state of Israel. Since 1995, education (as well as its diversion into indoctrination) has been the sole responsibility, in the first instance, of the Palestinian Authority in the territories of Judea and Samaria or of the Hamas terrorist grouping in the Gaza Strip.

A significant share of responsibility must also be placed on a quasi-prerogative body such as UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, which has seen material encouraging antisemitism and Judeophobia distributed in the schools it has set up in the territories. For so long the victim has been confused with the perpetrator that today it is very difficult to turn back the clock.

The use of children in terrorism is not new and there are examples throughout history that place them as cases of radicalization of minors and necessary inputs in a war that the Palestinians want and probably need to entrench over time. The political ecosystem in the Middle East is already totally adverse to the Palestinians since the Gulf and other Muslim-majority countries outside the region have begun to forget the Palestinian cause as a thorn in the side of their foreign policies.

This is why terrorism, which is nothing more than the planning of violence against civilian populations to cause terror, is the face of Palestinian frustration and impotence at having failed to prevent Israel from being reborn in 1948 and having established itself as one of the most important countries in the world in the face of adversity.

“They use children because they educate them for war”

Cases like that of the teenager gunned down in Jerusalem have also been replicated over the past twenty years and are categorized as teenagers acting on a suicide mission. One third of the attackers in the 2016 knife intifada were teenagers from Judea and Samaria, a territory under the control of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah since the Oslo Accords between 1993 and 1995. If children are born, raised and educated in hatred, it is not Israel’s fault, but the fault of the Palestinian leadership and the indulgence of international bodies.
A baby just a few months old was wrapped in an explosive belt and fitted with a Hamas insignia in Hebron, bringing to the world in 2002 an unprecedented image that summed up the child bombers: in the Palestinian-controlled territories a visceral hatred is rampant, inherited and passed on as if it were a hereditary disease. Hatred of Israel accompanies the birth of Palestinian women who, in keeping with the Islamic world, seem only to be willing to give birth in order to contribute soldiers to the holy war. 
At just 13 years old, another Palestinian teenager named Ruqaya Abu Eid was gunned down in 2016 after attempting to kill an Israeli checkpoint guard with a knife. A few days earlier, Morad Bader Adais, aged just 15, murdered a woman in front of her children and a Palestinian youth seriously wounded a pregnant Israeli woman in Tekoa.
Morad Bader Abdullah Adais, 16-year-old under the influence of his leaders, murderer of Dafna Meir. The Canadian Jewish News.
Suicide missions are also committed by children who are called in Arabic Ashbal Al Quds (the children of Jerusalem), thus fulfilling a fatal premonition and idea of Yasser Arafat, one of the exponents of international terrorism, who had said in the 1990s that his legacy was that Palestinian children would raise the Palestinian flag in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. They continue to be targeted by terrorist pornography that is amplified on social media and accuses Jews of being responsible for all evil.

“There is almost no control over the millions of dollars the Palestinians receive”

Despite the millions of euros that the Palestinian authorities have received over the years through the PEGASE programme (involving EU member states and the European Commission), incitement to hatred against Israel in the Palestinian education system continues to provide the ideological basis for the replication of attacks on Israeli territory.
Most of these schools follow the curricula of the Palestinian Authority and its armed wing, Fatah, where the Nakba narrative and the denial of Israel’s existence are indispensable elements. The Oslo Accords, peace processes with other states such as Egypt and Jordan, and normalisation with Muslim-majority countries are denied.
Palestinian schools are an allegory of Plato’s cave where the shadows cast inside are anti-Semitism, Judeophobia and denial of Israel’s existence.
No one in any international organisation or in any EU member state that contributes to the PEGASE programme of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians can claim that those millions of euros that have found their way into Palestinian coffers are not the ones who today finance the terrorist machine that strikes repeatedly every Shabbat.
Mistaking the victim for the perpetrator for so long has created a monster that will be very difficult to extirpate. Europe continues to fund a monster that will also go after Europeans.
About the Author
Master's Degree in International Politics from the Complutense University of Madrid. Interested in transnational terrorism, organized crime, radicalism and the fight against anti-Semitism.
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