Israel’s Long History of Killing Children
A newly-released United Nations report details the abuse of children, including torture, by Israeli police and military forces.
The report, which was prepared and issued by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, voiced the world body’s “deepest concern about the reported practice of torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children arrested, prosecuted and detained by the military and the police.”
The report also stated that “hundreds of Palestinian children have been killed and thousands injured… as a result of (Israeli) military operations, especially in Gaza.”
Indeed, Israel has been killing Arab children since before the Jewish state’s creation. During the tumultuous days immediately preceding Israel’s May 1948 declaration of independence, two Jewish terror militias, one of them led by future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, the other led by Yitzhak Shamir, another future prime minister, attacked the peaceful Arab village of Deir Yassin. The goal was to terrorize the Arab population into permanently fleeing to make way for Jewish settlers. The militia terrorists massacred more than 100 men, women and children at Deir Yassin. Worse, the attackers reportedly raped young girls. Assistant Inspector-General Richard Catling of the British Palestine Police Force Criminal Investigation Division wrote:
There is… no doubt that many sexual atrocities were committed by the attacking Jews. Many young schoolgirls were raped and later slaughtered… One story is current concerning a case in which a young girl was literally torn in two.
Jacques de Reynier, head of the Red Cross delegation in Palestine, counted 35 pregnant women among the dead at Deir Yassin. Menachem Begin boasted about “creating terror among the Arabs” by massacring children in the doomed village.
After Israel declared independence, neighboring Arab states launched a coordinated attack in an attempt to destroy Israel. During this period, Israel carried out a campaign of ethnic cleansing during which more than 700,000 Palestinians were forced from their homeland, never to return. Hundreds of villages were attacked and destroyed. In one of them, Al-Dawayima, troops under the command of future Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, one of Israel’s most beloved heroes, mercilessly murdered children. Said one witness:
“The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks… One woman, with a newborn in her arms, was employed to clean the courtyard where the soldiers ate. She worked a day or two. In the end, they shot her and her baby.”
Five years later, another future prime minister, Ariel Sharon, led a notoriously brutal military unit in a raid on the Jordanian village of Qibya to retaliate for the Arab killing of an Israeli mother and her child. Sharon ordered “maximum killing and damage to property.” His troops enthusiastically complied. Time reported the Israelis shot “every man, woman and child they could find.” Scores were slaughtered. In an act that would be unimaginable in today’s age of unquestioning US loyalty toward Israel, the Eisenhower administration actually cut off American military aid over the Qibya massacre.
Decades later, during the bloody 1982 invasion of Lebanon in which Israel attempted to force the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from its northern neighbor, tens of thousands of innocent civilians perished. Among these were as many as 3,000 men, women and children in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps massacred by Lebanese Christian Phalangists allied with Israel. American journalist Janet Lee Stevens wrote:
I saw… children with their throats slit, a pregnant woman with her stomach chopped open… countless babies and toddlers who had been stabbed or ripped apart and who had been thrown into garbage piles.
Ariel Sharon, who had risen to defense minister by 1982, was found responsible for the massacres by an Israeli board of inquiry. He resigned, but would later return as prime minister.
In July 2006, 16 children were among dozens of Lebanese villagers killed in an Israeli airstrike on Qana, where 106 men, women and children– including a dozen children from one family– had been killed in an Israeli attack on a UN compound a decade earlier.
The second Qana massacre occurred during Israel’s 2006 war against Lebanon, in which about a third of the 1,100 innocent Lebanese civilians killed (compared to 43 Israeli civilians killed by Hezbollah rockets) were children.
Two years later, hundreds of children were among the more than 1,400 Palestinians killed during Israel’s brutal Operation Cast Lead invasion of Gaza, which was carried out to stop Hamas rockets from raining down on Israel. Whole families were wiped out by Israeli attacks, including Samera Baalusha’s five daughters, seven children from the Daya family and three of Dr. Izz el-Deen Aboul Aish’s daughters, whose deaths the Israeli military called “reasonable.”
After a few years’ respite, Hamas rocket fire into Israel led to yet another attack on Gaza in 2012. At least 18 Palestinian children were killed.
According to ‘If Americans Knew,’ 1,519 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces since September 2000, a period during which 129 Israeli children were killed by Palestinian militants.
“Israelis don’t practice an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, they practice 10 eyes for an eye and 10 teeth for a tooth,” former British diplomat Peter Jenkins once famously observed.
Often, those eyes and teeth belong to children.
Tagged 2012 Gaza war, Al-Dawayima massacre, deir yassin, Gaza, Israel, israel ethnic cleansing, Israel kills children, israeli atrocities, Operation Cast Lead, Palestine, Palestinian children, Qana air strike, Qana massacre, qibya massacre, Sabra and Shatila, UN Israel child torture