Abuse and Exploitation of Minors to Carry out Terrorist Attacks
(Background information from Israeli security sources)

April 22, 2002

Palestinian terrorist organizations are making increasing use of children and minors to carry out suicide and terrorist attacks. Over the past nine months more than thirteen Palestinian minors have been involved in carrying out suicide attacks. This constitutes shameful exploitation of innocent youngsters by the terrorist organizations for heinous purposes, violating the universal rights of these children.

The Palestinian Authority continues to turn a blind eye to this phenomenon.

The terrorist organizations continue in their gross violation of human and civil rights, this time among their own population. Recently we have witnessed these organizations making cynical use of women for terrorist purposes, exploiting their feminine qualities to avoid suspicion.

In order to facilitate their attacks, it now emerges that the terrorist organizations do not even shrink from the exploitation of children.

In recent months more than thirteen suicide attacks have been exposed which were carried out or planned to be carried out by minors under the age of 18. In each of these cases the young people were recruited by the terrorist organizations.

Children, whose innocent appearance does not arouse suspicion, are an ideal pool of recruitment by terrorist organizations for carrying out suicide attacks.

Below are a number of striking examples of attacks in which Palestinian minors took part:

  • Jamil Hamid, a 16-year-old from Bethlehem, recruited by Fatah, blew himself up on March 31, 2002 alongside a clinic in Efrat, injuring six Israeli citizens.

  • Shirin Rabiya, a 15-year-old girl who was detained for questioning when the IDF forces entered Bethlehem admitted that she had been recruited by her uncle, a senior Tanzim operative in the area, to carry out a suicide attack in Israel.

  • Anwar Hamad, a 17-year-old youth from Rafah, was sent to carry out a suicide attack against a convoy of vehicles transporting IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip. Prior to his recruitment by Fatah, Anwar, a teenager with no education, who does not even know how to read and write, was involved in the use and trafficking of drugs.

  • Muhammed Abu Khader, a 17 year old high school student originally from Nablus but now living in Tamoun, was apprehended on 2 August 2001 as he was attempting to board an Israeli bus near Beit Shean while carrying a bomb.

  • Mahmoud Qudsi, a 17 year old high school student of Tulkarm,was apprehended near the Israeli town of Tirah while wearing an explosive belt, on his way to carry out a suicide bombing.

  • Ahmed Salamiyeh, a 16 year old youth from Gaza, was killed on 16 April 2002, as he was identified by Israeli troops near Dugit as carrying two pipe bombs and a bottle of explosives.

  • Hitam Assad Abu Shouka, a 14 year old boy living in Sheikh Radwan, was killed by Israel troops on 18 April 2002, when he detected near the Dugit perimeter fence together with another terrorist. He was found to be carrying two pipe bombs, a commando knife, and a map of the Gaza Strip with Jewish targets highlighted.

    The personal stories of these minors serves to demonstrate once again the abusive and cynical use made by Palestinian terrorist organizations of the young and the socially vulnerable in order to carry out massive attacks against Israel.

    It should be noted that the Palestinian Authority is not even trying to confront this phenomenon and continues consistently to turn a blind eye to the fact that young Palestinian boys and girls are victimized, ostensibly on behalf of the entire Palestinian society.

    Upholding the rights of these children, as enshrined in the basic norms and principles of international law, is a universal interest of humanity as a whole, and everything possible should be done to prevent children from being turned into cannon fodder by the terrorists.

    It is sad to discover that in the twenty-first century there are innocent and tender children in the Palestinian Authority who are being educated and raised in an environment of hatred towards other human beings, and who are exploited by the terrorist organizations to carry out deadly suicidal violence.