For example, the Amnesty report cites testimony by members of its delegation who witnessed a demonstration in Rafah on October 10, 2000, in which about 200 people participated, most of them elementary school students, who threw stones. According to the Amnesty representatives, even though there was no danger to the lives of IDF soldiers, the soldiers used unjustified deadly force, firing live ammunition at the demonstrators. The shooting injured Sami Fathi Abu Jazar (photo, left) in the head; he died the following day of his injuries. Six other children were also wounded.
Israelis live in fear of random attacks, principally the suicide bombing of buses and cafes, and shootings in the occupied territories. But they are generally safe in their homes and are more likely to be killed in a road accident than by a bomb. In southern Gaza and parts of the West Bank there is often no sanctuary from the seemingly relentless, indiscriminate Israeli shooting.
Israel classifies Gaza Strip towns such as Rafah and Khan Yunis, and Nablus and Jenin in the West Bank, as war zones. That, the army says, justifies the firing of powerful sophisticated weapons into residential areas or the bulldozing of scores of homes each month, ostensibly in search of rarely discovered tunnels for smuggling in weapons...
Munir al-Daqas (AP photo, left, by Khalil Hamra) left his home in Jabalya refugee camp to visit his grandparents' house five minutes' walk away. Israeli tanks were on the far side of the camp, but no one saw any danger in the heart of Jabalya, around its bustling market, in daylight.
"It must have been a sniper," his mother, Kifah, said. "People told me as I was shopping in the market. I couldn't believe it. Munir was just there with me and now they were saying he was dead." Mrs Daqas unfolded a picture of the semi-naked body of her son in his grave. There is a bullet wound in the chest and another in the groin.
In four years of intifada, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights says, the army has killed 136 children in Rafah and Khan Yunis, a quarter of all the Palestinian children who have died during the uprising, because of its "indiscriminate shooting, excessive force, a shoot-to-kill policy and the deliberate targeting of children".
The army... frequently says that child victims are caught in crossfire during Palestinian attacks on the army or Jewish settlers. There were no such battles when Raghda Alassar and Munir Daqas were hit.
Mrs Daqas said her other children could not comprehend Munir's death.
"Munir's younger brother doesn't understand he is dead. He thought he
would come back after the funeral and kept asking why Munir hasn't come
when we've had 'the party' for him. His four-year-old sister asks every
day if we can search the market because Munir must be lost," she said.
- The death and disorientation of the children of Gaza by Chris McGreal; The Guardian, 17 Sept 2004.
Source: Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church
Photo: T-shirt printed for members of an IDF elite unit who had completed sniper training, reads "The smaller they are - The harder it is!".
Source: Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashion 2009 (Ha'aretz); via Mondoweiss.