FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Palestinian Children Bear the Brunt of Mideast Violence

by Patrick McNamara

The United states once again has vetoed a UN resolution calling for an end to Israeli violence against Palestinians and the introduction of international monitors. The veto damages both Israel and the Palestinians. Friends of Israel and Palestine need to act now to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Just as the Hamas-inspired suicide bombings undermine Palestinian moral claims to a national dignity and degrade the moral sensibilities of the few Palestinians that celebrate such atrocities, so too does the violence of the Israeli occupation eat away at the moral fabric of the Israeli national community.

The ongoing effects of the occupation are most severe for Palestinian children. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and to Defense for Children International, an international children’s advocacy organization, Israeli Defense Forces have killed at least 214 Palestinian children, injured approximately 6,000 and arrested 600 since September of last year when the intifada began.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization, reports that at least 170 Palestinian children under age 16 are being held in Israeli jails with many of these undergoing systematic use of beatings, sleep deprivation, and isolation.

Last July, a hunger strike was staged by children incarcerated at Tel Monde prison near Tel Aviv. The hunger strike was brutally suppressed with tear gas, beatings, and imposition of solitary confinement. While many Israeli citizens express revulsion at these outrages as emblematic of what the occupation is doing to their own country, American officials responsible for formulating policy options toward the region and for monitoring US aid to Israel/Palestine seem unaware of the invidious effects of the occupation, the daily travails of the Palestinian people, and the dangers posed by occupation-related conflict to democracy in Israel.

Given the overwhelming military superiority of the Israeli Defense Forces relative to the Palestinians and its role as the occupying power, Israel must accept responsibility for the violent logic of this occupation and its consequences for children. Of the 826 Palestinians killed by the Israeli Defense Forces in the current intifada approximately 26 percent were children under age 18.

Almost two-thirds of these children died after being shot with live ammunition; 34 percent died from injuries sustained to the head, while 31 percent were shot in the chest. In 2001 alone, Defense for Children International documented 150 attacks by the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli settlers on children’s schools; 76 schools were attacked with live ammunition and/or tear gas; 41 schools were shelled by the Israeli military; and four schools were permanently closed and transformed into Israeli military installations.

In addition, the Israeli practice of demolishing the homes of Palestinian protesters suspected of terrorism escalated in 2001 resulting in at least 639 homeless children. The prolonged internal and external closures in the territories have led to severe economic hardship for Palestinian families with many living on only $3 a day. For want of medical supplies and staff, children often die mere kilometers away from fully equipped hospitals in Israel.

The violent logic of occupation requires that as the rebellion grows so does the violent response to it. But every increment in violent suppression leads to a corresponding increase in violent rebellion in a macabre dance of mutually assured destruction.

Yet short of a full-scale Israeli Defense Forces withdrawal and the emplacement of international monitors between the warring parties, we can expect the violence to continue unabated for the foreseeable future. The consequences for both parties will become increasingly tragic with Palestinian children bearing the brunt of a violence no one can any longer control.

Patrick McNamara is a member of the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights.

February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Invisible Epidemic: Radiation and Rising Rates of Thyroid Cancer
Andre Vltchek
Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder
Jack Smith
Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again
Robert Fantina
As Goes Iowa, So Goes the Nation?
Dean Baker
Market Turmoil, the Fed and the Presidential Election
John Grant
Israel Moves to Check Its Artists
John Wight
Who Was Cecil Rhodes?
David Macaray
Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders?
Christopher Brauchli
Suffer Little Children: From Brazil to Flint
JP Sottile
Did Fox News Help the GOP Establishment Get Its Groove Back?
Binoy Kampmark
Legalizing Cruelties: the Australian High Court and Indefinite Offshore Detention
John Feffer
Wrestling With Iran
Rob Prince – Ibrahim Kazerooni
Syria Again
Louisa Willcox
Park Service Finally Stands Up for Grizzlies and Us
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail