Palestinian youths hurl stones at an Israeli post guarding the Kfar Daroem Jewish settlement in Deir el-Ballah, the Gaza Strip, Saturday. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Israel and Palestine; Jews and Arabs continue to sacrifice their children
In the past two years, there have been 250 Palestinian children killed and 72 Israeli children killed in the futile fighting between Israel and Palestine. 322 childrens' deaths that have created untold grief among family and friends and have created a lasting paranoia in the surviving children who daily wonder if they will be the next to die.
There is no way either side can win this stupid war. What kind of people never tire of seeing their children turned into corpses? How many children must die?
Arafat and Sharon, two sociopaths supported by two equally
Amnesty International Report Slams Israelis and Palestinians
by Mitchell Landsberg Los Angeles Times
In a fresh reminder, Palestinian authorities said two boys were shot to death by Israeli soldiers Monday in clashes in and near the West Bank city of Nablus.
Amnesty said 250 Palestinian children and 72 Israeli children were killed in the conflict from September 2000 until the end of this August. Since the beginning of the current Palestinian intifada, or uprising, the report said, "children have been targeted in an unprecedented manner."
"The patterns of killings . . . show how the right to life of Palestinian and Israeli children has been repeatedly violated as a result of the systematic failure of the Israeli authorities, Palestinian armed groups and the Palestinian Authority to comply with . . . international human rights and humanitarian law," the report said.
Israeli officials expressed regret over the deaths of Palestinian children, but they drew a distinction between those deaths, which they said were accidental, and those of Israeli children, who they say are deliberately targeted by suicide bombers and other assailants. Palestinian officials maintain that Israel's military occupation has made it impossible for them to control radical groups that have carried out suicide bombings, even though they have denounced such attacks.
Amnesty International did not accuse Israel of deliberately targeting children, but it said the country has been guilty of "unlawful and excessive use of lethal force" in violation of international law. Most of the deaths of Palestinian children have occurred when Israeli soldiers responded to demonstrations and rock-throwing by opening fire with either rubber-tipped bullets or live ammunition, the report said.
The death of 10-year-old Rami Khalil Barbari on Monday morning was apparently one such death. Palestinian officials said Rami was with other children throwing rocks at soldiers at the Balata refugee camp near Nablus when they were hit with live ammunition. Rami was shot in the head and died; three other boys were wounded.
An Israeli army spokesman said soldiers at the camp exchanged gunfire with Palestinians but were unaware that they had hit anyone.
Later, another boy, Mahmoud Hamze Zaghloul, was killed in Nablus. Hospital officials said he was shot in the chest in another rock-throwing incident. The army said a youth who appeared to be a teenager was shot as he was about to throw a Molotov cocktail at soldiers. In all, 38 people were injured in Nablus, many of them children, the hospital officials said.
The Amnesty International report said it is improper for Israeli forces to use live ammunition or even rubber-tipped bullets -- which can be lethal -- in the presence of children.
Capt. Jacob Dalal, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said the army's "general policy" is not to fire at or around children.
The report was also harsh in its criticism of Palestinian officials and, especially, the radical groups that have carried out suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. Of the Israeli children killed in the conflict, 70 percent have died in such attacks, the report said.
In the worst of these attacks, in June 2001, a suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of young people waiting outside a popular nightclub in Tel Aviv, killing 21 people, 12 of them under 18.
Amnesty said the bomber, a member of the radical group Hamas, "must have anticipated that many children would be among the victims."
In fact, the report concluded, Palestinian armed
groups "make no distinction between military objectives and
civilians, including children."
How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?
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