Gaza children stage assault on Jews, capture of Israeli soldier

by Gregory Tomlin, |
In this file photo, a child participates in a show of force in Palestinian territory. | REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini

GAZA (Christian Examiner) – Most children's festivals the world over include clowns, balloons, hip-hop dances and face painting. In Gaza, they include simulated assaults on Hasidic Jews, stone-throwing clashes with security police, tunnel assaults and the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier.

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the eighth annual "Childhood Festival" in Khan Yunis, Gaza, featured these and other simulated "acts of defiance" against Israeli citizens and soldiers. A video of the event was aired May 5.

In the video, a girl dressed in a black burka repeatedly shoves a little boy dressed as an Israeli policeman, hoping to provoke her martyrdom. Another child, also dressed as a policeman, circles the girl with his weapon drawn.

Children are then shown throwing stones at the "police" and Jewish men rocking forward in prayer while young boys – dressed in black t-shirts and camouflaged pants – storm out of a "tunnel" near the stage.

Adults also take part in the presentation, pushing a cardboard Israeli tank with a tiny soldier inside as photographers rush in to snap photos of the tank assault on the young jihadists.

The video then shows dancers, followed by a little girl chanting with fist clinched.

"Hurry up, my child, and join the battle," she exclaims. "Die as a martyr, and blow up the enemies. Palestine – an Arab clasping victory in one hand, and stones of fire in the other. An Arab filled with challenge, pride, and resolve."

All of the boys then are brought on the stage to conduct their military drills, kneeling, stomping, and laying in the prone position with their plastic automatic rifles. They are last seen standing over an "Israeli soldier" whose hands are tied behind his back. He is spirited away down the same tunnel from which the assault began.

As they leave, two Palestinian girls again take the stage to chant emphatically, "We are not afraid. The young people of Jerusalem are staging a knife revolution."