The Israeli public is in collective agony and mourning over the abduction and murder of teenagers Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah.
In contrast, the Palestinian public has widely celebrated the crime, adopting a three-fingered salute honoring the “heroic” perpetrators, mocking grieving family members on social media, and passing out candy.
Condemnations by Palestinian Authority officials were rare. As appalling as these responses are, they are emblematic of the Palestinian war strategy of which the targeting and exploitation of children is an integral part.
Palestinian terrorists have long made a point of detonating suicide bombers in pizza shops, buses, weddings, bar mitzvah celebrations and malls to inflict the most casualties as possible on the defenseless. Like the reaction to the June kidnappings, outrage from the Palestinian community for these atrocities was rare, if expressed at all.
The exploitation of Palestinian children as weapons of war begins from birth. Pictures abound of Palestinian babies dressed as suicide bombers and brandishing arms.
Children’s TV programs, many sponsored by the Palestinian Authority itself, preach jihad, advocate genocide against Jews and infidels, and glorify martyrdom.
In addition to turning them into combatants, Palestinians deliberately place children at risk from Israeli counter-terror measures by co-locating weapons and terror infrastructure inside schools, hospitals and mosques. Terrorists adorn civilian dress and launch rockets and other weapons from within civilian areas to maximize loss during retaliatory attacks, which will increase the propaganda effect.
Support from the EU and European governments funds TV programs and other media that perpetuate terrorist indoctrination and incitement. The EU also partners, through NGO projects, with the Palestinian Struggle Coordinating Committee, responsible for organizing protests that frequently turn violent.
NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issue obscenely weak condemnations of these violations against children, generally burying them in lengthy publications accusing Israel of war crimes. Calls for accountability or an end to impunity for terror perpetrators are rarely made. Measures such as universal jurisdiction lawsuits and boycott campaigns (the NGOs’ weapons of choice against Israel) are never wielded against Palestinians.
Such complicity only emboldens future acts and represents the total inversion of morality, human rights and law.
The depraved exploitation and abuse of children as targets and weapons by Palestinians must end. Yet, they will not end these abominable tactics so long as the UN, members of the international community, and NGOs continue to enable these atrocities.