Kids at War: The Training
The photos below were taken by various media mainstream sources in the summer of this year (2000) at several Palestinian "summer camps".
We suggest one and all to look at these pictures closely. Look at the
faces on these children. Look at the seriousness, at the hate, and
especially look at those training these children...
Thirteen-year-old Omar Assad throws down his school satchel, puts on his ski mask, loads up his slingshot and sets off down the rockstrewn road towards the armed Israeli soldiers - school is out and it's time for his extracurricular activities. For Omar and his schoolmates who every day after classes swell the ranks of those clashing with troops protecting a road to a Jewish settlement near this flashpoint West Bank [sic] town, the afternoon's activities have much in common with football practice. There is teamwork to be learned - who will use slingshots, who will throw stones, who will make the Molotov cocktails, who will throw them and, most important, who will be responsible for picking up the streaming teargas canisters and flinging them back at the Israelis. There are individual skills to be learned - how to select the right-sized stone, how to make an effective slingshot, how to sling the stones, how to make and dispatch Molotovs. And there are the defensive moves - dodging teargas canisters and rubber bullets, avoiding live rounds, dealing with a tear-gassing (sniffing raw onion seems the most effective), and what to do if one of your team is injured. Omar, however, is angry with his parents for not allowing him to skip classes altogether, like some of his friends do. 'For my parents it's school first, then intifada,' he said through his multicolored ski mask. Among the bravest on the 'field,' Omar managed on Monday afternoon to crawl his way up to a concrete wall within 10 meters of the Israeli soldiers, and let fly with a stone the size of a golf ball. His bull's-eye was greeted by cheers from the several hundred Palestinians who had turned up on Wednesday for the daily clash. But his friend Hamid's efforts - a strike with a Molotov cocktail which set an army vehicle alight - drew the loudest cheer of the afternoon ... Late in the afternoon, as the flames of the barricades began casting an eerie glow over the faces of the protesters in the growing gloom, Omar Assad's brother - sent by his mother - came to call him home. It was time for him to do his homework.
[Editor's Note: This news item is taken from the JORDAN TIMES, 25 October 2000. It is not a spoof.]
Philip Kapusta biography