As the world’s attentions focus elsewhere, the Israeli military continues to act with impunity in the occupied West Bank. In the last 24 hours, for example, Israeli forces shot four Palestinian school children with live ammunition.
On 30 January, a soldier shot 16-year-old student Samah Mubarak at a checkpoint in East Jerusalem. Israeli authorities accused her of being a “terrorist” who they had to ‘neutralise’. The Israeli media, meanwhile, said she had attempted to stab a soldier. The Israeli police released an edited video of the incident.
Palestinian news sources, however, reported that Samah was only carrying her school books:
— Shehab News (@ShehabAgencyEn) January 30, 2019
As Samah’s family and friends grieve, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported today that soldiers had shot three more children. Israeli forces invaded the Tuqu village and surrounded a high school, leading to clashes with students. The soldiers then fired at the children with rounds of tear gas and live bullets. Two of the children are in critical condition.
The Israeli military has allegedly killed three children so far this year. On 11 January, it shot Abdel-Raouf Ismail Mohammad Salha in the head with a tear gas canister. Fragments of his skull were reportedly embedded in his brain, and he died of his injuries a few days later. On 25 January, meanwhile, the military shot 16-year-old Ayman Ahmad Hamid dead on a highway.
A deadly place for a child
Since 2000, Israeli armed forces or settlers have reportedly killed over 2,000 Palestinian children.
Palestine continues to be a terrifying place for children to live. Defense for Children International reports that:
Israeli forces continued to kill Palestinian children at an average pace exceeding one child per week in 2018. At the bitter close of 52 weeks, 56 Palestinian children were dead due to Israeli forces’ actions.
Most of the children were shot, while a number were killed by drone or tank-fired missiles.
The UN, meanwhile, has called for school children to be “better-protected from the effects of Israeli occupation”.
Volunteer teams on the ground in the West Bank have reported numerous times that Israeli forces have intimidated school children. And in the occupied apartheid city of Hebron, students must pass through checkpoints to reach their schools. Armed guards check their bags and sometimes body-search them. The Canary has witnessed soldiers shooting at children, some as young as six years old, with tear gas, sound bombs or rubber-coated steel bullets.
We must not allow this to continue.
Featured image via author
- A number of arms companies produce Israel’s weapons, and most of them attend the DSEI Arms Fair, which takes place in London in September of this year. Find out how you can get involved by visiting Stop The Arms Fair.
- Volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank, monitoring soldier violence, as well as accompanying children to school.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?