Photo of the Week: A family of smiles in Al-Khalil

Photo credit: Marjut Tuulikki
Date taken: September 18, 2012
Location: Al-Khalil, West Bank, Palestine

A father and his two children smile as their photograph is taken inside of their home.

Earlier this year, footage published online provided damning evidence of the abuse Palestinian children face by the Israeli military on a regular basis. In the West Bank city of Al-Khalil, where the above photographed family lives, one video shows Israeli soldiers kidnapping and transporting a Palestinian child to a military checkpoint. In the other video, which was also recorded in Al-Khalil, Israeli soldiers arbitrarily confiscate a soccer ball from a group of Palestinian children who continue to ask for the ball back. Israeli settlers laughed at and made fun of the children in both instances.

Children are frequent targets of abuse by the Israeli military because they don’t pose any physical threats to the soldiers and because the intimidation is allegedly designed to scare them out of resisting the occupation in the future. Since 2011, Israel has maintained an average of about 200 Palestinian children in Israeli detention centers in direct violation of several international and humanitarian laws.

It is scary to think that these smiles might one day be wiped off of their faces by the Israeli military just because it can.


There are 2 comments

  1. Nina Cullers

    It defies reason to know that the Israelis, some of whom had relatives that suffered under the Nazis, can be so cruel to children and show a superior attitude towards a people, who like them are Semites. In many cases these children are the products of parents and grandparents who have been displaced by the Israelis. Their land, which in many cases has been handed down for generations was confiscated by the Israelis. Their livelihood is jepordized by restrictions under the occupation, and they are deprived of normal childhood care free, wholesome living, because of surrounding walls, lack of recreational facilities and the dire conditions under which they live. Where is the conscience of the Jews who want to be known as humane people! How can they torture children and intimidate them so they become bitter and violent.

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