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The cost to Palestinian children of the ongoing Occupation

With news that Israel is apparently preparing for yet another assault on Gaza - to what end and for what good purpose remains obscure - it pays to reflect on the statistics which Professor Juan Cole details, on his Informed Comment blog, post the awful kidnapping of 3 Israeli teenagers only to be followed by the horrendous revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager.

"The news that Palestinian Muhammad Abu Khdeir, age 16, was kidnapped from his father’s shop in East Jerusalem and then doused with gasoline (including in his mouth) and then set on fire and burned alive (presumably by militant Israeli squatters on Palestinian land) is just as creepy as last week’s horror story about the killing of three Israeli youth by, presumably, Palestinian militants (though there is no evidence Hamas in specific was behind it).

Then the Israeli police compounded things by arresting Abu Khdeir’s cousin Tareq, an American who whose trip to Palestine was a reward for earning straight A’s. Israeli police beat and stomped on him so badly his own mother called him “unrecognizable.”


Here are some numbers, Harper’s style, to put these events in context:


  • Number of Palestinian children Israel has arrested since 2010: 3,000
  • Palestinian children arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military detention system each year: 500-700
  • Percentage of these arrested Palestinian children who have been subjected to physical abuse and/or torture: 75%
  • Percentage of arrested Palestinian children who face Israeli military trials: 25%
  •  Number of Palestinian children killed by Israelis since 2000: 1,500
  • Number of Israeli children killed by Palestinians since 2000: 132
  • Number of Palestinian children now in Israeli jails: 200"


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