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Palestinian children in combat support roles: Behavior mirrors teachings in PA schoolbooks and popular culture

Itamar Marcus & Barbara Crook, Oct. 17 , 2004

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has revealed that Palestinian children are actively aiding terrorists in Gaza. In a striking example of the way in which the new PA curriculum has indoctrinated children, the children have assumed the exact combat support roles they have been taught in the new PA schoolbooks. This text book indoctrination compliments PA music videos and other forms of popular culture, that aim to convince children that their place is in the heart of battle zones.

This latest revelation of children’s active participation in combat coincides with the renewed broadcast (at least 10 times since Oct. 4) of a popular music video that explicitly demands that children participate in combat - even when it may lead to their death. (See below)

An article this week in the official PA daily, reported that children are aiding terrorists in the following combat support roles:

“In spite of family members’ warnings, groups of children are spreading around the [Gaza] camp, both to pass on information to the resistance and to bring them water.”
(Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 11, 2004)

It should be stressed that supplying water and gathering information for terrorists in active combat zones, puts these children in life-threatening situations and has led to the deaths of many children. Note that the term “resistance” is used by the PA leadership and media to refer to all terrorists, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others.

These two combat support roles are precisely the roles taught in PA schoolbooks. A 6 th grade schoolbook teaches PA children to follow the example of a young child, who according to Islamic tradition, fulfilled these combat support roles. According to this tradition while Muhammad and his companion Abu Bakr hid in a cave, Abu Bakr’s young daughter aided them by passing them information about the enemy and giving them water. The schoolbook teaches children to see themselves in similar roles with such language as: “Asma, Abu Bakr’s daughter, was my age when she played a role...” and immediately asks the question: “What role can I play ...?”

The following is the full schoolbook text:

"Asma, Abu Bakr’s daughter, was my age when she played a role in supplying provisions and water and passing information about Kuraish [Tribe] to the Prophet and his companion during their secret Hegira [emigration] from Mecca to Medina.
What role can I play in order to support the national resistance movement against the occupier and colonialist?"
[History of the Arabs and Muslims, sixth grade, p. 34, translated by CMIP]

Note also that the PA schoolbook’s defining Israel as “colonialist” is an important component of the denial of Israel’s right to exist taught in the PA schoolbooks and popular culture. Teaching that Israel is a foreign European “colonial” creation is intended to give both legitimacy and zeal to the hatred and violence the PA actively inculcates among PA children.

This week’s revelation is yet another reminder that the new PA textbooks still promote hatred and violence, contrary to the false information being spread by Palestinian apologists. This is also a confirmation of that this education indeed is reflected in the violent and life threatening behavior of Palestinian children.

Music Video Returns to PA TV:
It is striking that this report on PA children in combat coincides with a return to PA TV of a insidious music video that demands children participate in combat even if it leads to their death as a Shahid (Martyr for Allah). This clip had not been broadcast on PA TV since this video was shown in a US Senate hearing one year ago, as part of the testimony of PMW director Itamar Marcus. His testimony, exposing the use of PA children in combat roles, and the subsequent media reaction, had brought pressure on the PA to stop indoctrinating children to aspire to Shahada death. This video has now returned and has been broadcast at least 10 times in the last 13 days.

The words of the clip are sung by a woman vocalist wearing an army uniform, and the visuals include children in frenzied war dances, interspaced between scenes of children participating in violence in combat zones.

Click here to view video
The following are the words of the music video:

"Shake the earth, raise the stones.
You will not be saved, Oh Zionist, from the volcano of my country’s stones,
You will not be saved, Oh Zionist, from the volcano of my country’s stones,
You are the target of my eyes, I will even willingly fall as a Shahid [Martyr for Allah].
You are the target of my eyes, I will even willingly fall as a Shahid.
Allah Akbar, Oh the young ones".
The similar messages found in formal PA education and popular culture, together with the reported children’s participation in combat roles, are further indication of the child abuse by the PA leadership for political purposes, and the tragedy they have brought on their own children and the entire region.



Copyright 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved