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.