[R-G] Israel 'fabricated' child-bomber story
sandinista at shaw.ca
Thu Mar 25 17:19:06 MST 2004
Israel 'fabricated' child-bomber story
by Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
Thursday 25 March 2004 12:38 PM GMT
The Israeli army said he was caught wearing an explosive belt at an army
roadblock in the northern West Bank.
The boy, identified as Husam Abdu from Nablus, was shown on TV screens
around the world, with an explosive belt strapped to his waist.
The Israeli army said the boy told interrogators that his dispatchers
promised that he would have sex with 72 virgins in heaven soon after his
"We know for sure this is a fabricated story from A to Z. Would you believe
that a 13 or 14-year old would agree to blow up himself in return for a
hundred shekels which he would receive after his death?
"It seems to me that the Israelis are bad liars as well," said Yaqub Shahin,
a director-general of the Palestinian Authority ministry of information.
Painting a 'terrorist' picture
In an interview with Aljazeera.net, Shahin accused Israel of seeking to
justify slaughtering Palestinian children by spreading the false impression
that they are used as human bombers.
"Their [Israels] goal is to besmirch Palestinian childhood so that when
they slaughter the children, the world wont feel sorry for them," he said.
Arab Knesset member Muhammad Baraka has also voiced "serious doubts" about
the veracity of the Israeli narrative.
"I have very serious doubts about the whole story. I can't give the Israeli
army the benefit of the doubt."
Israelis have killed 263 children
under 14 in the Intifada
However, Baraka urged all parties to "keep children away from this sinister
and bloody conflict.
"Using children as bombs is infinitely diabolical. It is totally
inconsistent with all religious, moral and human values."
The armed wing of Fatah, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, has denied any
involvement in the incident, accusing Israel of "concocting the whole story
for the purpose of justifying the killing of more Palestinian children".
The Israeli newspaper Yedeot Ahranot reported on Thursday that Abdu told
Shin Beth interrogators that an anonymous person had promised him 100
shekels if he blew himself up in the midst of Israeli soldiers.
Samir Khiwairah, a Nablus journalist who personally knows the boys family,
told Aljazeera.net that the boys mental capacity to distinguish things is
"I don't completely rule out the possibility that some evil person gave him
the explosive belt and told him he would become a hero ... but this is a
very tiny possibility."
Khiwairah said the Israeli army had a history of "fabricating and concocting
stories" for the purpose of vilifying the Palestinians and winning public
A few weeks ago, another boy from Nablus, Muhammad Kuraan, made headlines
when the Israeli army presented him to the media as a child who had been
dispatched to blow himself up at an Israeli roadblock.
Palestinian children climb over
the rubble of a demolished house
However, when the boy returned home, he reportedly told his family and
relatives "Jews told me to do this or else they would kill me."
Aljazeera.net asked the Israeli army spokesman in Tel Aviv to explain why
Abdu would accept 100 shekels to get blown up and what good the money could
The army was also asked to explain why it had TV cameras ready at the
roadblock more than two hours before the event.
Despite two hours of waiting, the army failed to provide an answer.
The controversy of using children in the Israeli-Palestinian strife
underscores the brazen ugliness of the conflict.
According to human rights groups operating in the occupied territories, the
Israeli army has killed hundreds of Palestinian children since the outbreak
of the Palestinian Intifada more than three and a half years ago.
According to a spokeswoman for the East Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human
Rights Monitoring Group (HRMG), the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish
settlers have killed 263 Palestinian children from age 0-14 and 236 minors
from the age of 15-18 during the ongoing Intifada.
The total number of Palestinians killed by Israel since the outbreak of the
Intifada is estimated at 2670.
The figures for the injured and maimed are believed to be in the thousands.
The number of Israelis killed by Palestinians during the same period is
around 838, including soldiers, settlers and civilians.
Israel claims its army does not target Palestinian civilians deliberately
but admits, rather grudgingly, that the killing is carried out knowingly.
However, human rights groups argue forcefully that, in the final analysis,
killing knowingly is killing deliberately.
By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
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