Palestinian child is killed; where is the West’s uproar?

  1. International

September 30, 2022 – TEHRAN TIMES

TEHRAN- A seven-year-old Palestinian child has died after running away from Israeli troops who were chasing him until he fell from a high place and the silence of the West speaks volumes. 

Beit Jala hospital has confirmed the death of Rayyan Suleiman as well as the account of his death. The child was brought to the hospital after his heart stopped functioning and all efforts to revive him failed. The tragic death happened after Rayyan left school in the village of Toqou of Bethlehem town.

Officials say Rayyan and other students with him had been running for their lives. In other words, running away from the regime’s military in fear of their lives.

To make matters worse, his father says he laid his son down in a car and rushed him to hospital only to be stopped by the Israeli military. Only after the regime’s soldier saw the boy dead, they allowed the vehicle to proceed to the hospital.

Israel claims its soldiers ran after Rayyan after he and other children were throwing stones at the Israeli military occupation troops. Palestinian residents, however, say there was no stone-throwing at the time. 

The Israeli argument itself is laughable. How can a military the possesses sophisticated weapons provided by the U.S.  be afraid of stones? How frightened was the Israeli military of children throwing stones that it claims to have run after them for that reason.

The truth is, as has been documented by experts, Israel uses this tactic of scaring away children at a young age to try and get them and their family to leave the land they and their parents and ancestors were born in.

Every year, hundreds of Palestinian children are detained by Israeli occupation forces. They are the only children in the world who are systematically prosecuted through military, rather than civilian, courts. And to make matters worse, the most common charge is throwing stones – for which the maximum sentence is 20 years in prison, according to Save the Children.

This is not how children should live their lives. In fact, just about everywhere else in the world, this is NOT how children live their lives. There are very few exceptions – extreme exceptions – and the children living under the apartheid Israeli military occupation is one of those exceptions.

The double standards of the West who publicly advocate for human rights and privately offer substantial support toward such atrocities is disturbing. The West is very quick to make noise, issue statements of condemnation that more than often lead to incitement of insecurity and violence. Provoking violence and riots in Iran and other countries are examples.

Of course, the irony recently is that the British were supporting Iranian rioters murdering police officers under the name of “freedom”, but when Iranian rioters attacked British police in the UK, they were quick to be condemned. 

Here the silence of the West over the death of a little boy at the hands of Israel speaks volumes. The United States and the United Kingdom have been providing billions of dollars in military assistance and supporting the regime at the United Nations so that it continues to commit atrocities against Palestinian children.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the incident as “an ugly crime” by Israel. 

The Gaza based Hamas resistance movement strongly condemned the ongoing Israeli atrocities against innocent Palestinian children across occupied Palestine, saying it reflected the “sadist” Israeli policies practiced against children and civilians.
The movement has mourned the death of Rayyan and warned the regime that its atrocities against Palestinian children, people, land, and sanctities will not provide Israel any security but rather, will only boost the Palestinian people’s willpower to defend their indigenous land and rights until the full liberation of their country.

It has also called on all human rights and humanitarian organizations to expose the Israeli crimes against Palestinian children and take serious action to blacklist its authoritarian rulers over the murder of children.

The reality is that not many Palestinian children can escape Israeli forces and stay alive or maintain the very little freedom they currently have. 

Last year in May, the regime murdered 67 Palestinian children during a seven-day time frame alone, and the West stayed silent. This year, the regime has murdered dozens of children. During a two-day period, from 5 -7 August, the UN Human Rights Office documented the Israeli killing of 17 Palestinian children and injuring another 151. It gives a clear idea of how Israel has total disregard for the life of a Palestinian child and unfortunately for Rayyan; he will and always will be just a number.

According to research provided by Defence of Children International, the Israeli forces and its armed settlers have killed around 2,000 Palestinian children since the start of the second Intifada in September 2000. In other words, this disturbing number means that on average, the Israelis have murdered a Palestinian child every three days. 

On the other hand, being arrested by the regime’s forces is something Palestinian minors also fear greatly. Reports by more than one international rights group have said that the Israeli occupation’s ruthless military has arrested more than 14,000 Palestinian children since September 2000.

Research by Save the Children found that Palestinian Children who are arrested (as the fate of Rayyan most likely would have been) and taken to Israeli military dungeons face inhumane treatment such as beatings, strip searches, psychological abuse, weeks in solitary confinement, and being denied access to a lawyer during interrogations; that have been described as very inhumane against adults let alone children.

The charity group says it has consulted with more than 470 children from across the West Bank who have been detained over the past ten years. It found that most children were taken from their homes at night, blindfolded, with their hands painfully bound behind their backs. Many of the respondents said they were not told why they were being arrested or where they were being taken. Hundreds remain in prison.

The CEO of Save the Children, Kevin Watkins, has decried the fact that it has been so many years since the UK’s own Children in Military Custody report highlighted the devastating injustices faced by Palestinian children in Israeli military custody. Since then, thousands more detained children have suffered systematic abuse, all while the recommendations made to fix a broken justice system have gone nowhere.

“The UK Government constantly calls on the Government of Israel to ensure human rights are respected, but words have so far not resulted in action. Our findings paint a stark picture – of young boys and girls subjected to serious mental and physical abuse, resulting in scars they will carry for years to come. The Israeli military detention system continues to render Palestinian children entirely defenceless.”

In August, UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet expressed alarm at the high number of Palestinian children that have been killed and injured in the occupied Palestinian territory this year.

“Inflicting hurt on any child during the course of conflict is deeply disturbing, and the killing and maiming of so many children this year is unconscionable,” said Bachelet.

There is no respect for international law when it comes to the regime occupying the country of Palestine and committing countless massacres against children. The double standards by the West toward this child killing machine is a stain on humanity.


Categories: Arab World, Asia, Israel, Palestine

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