Sunday, April 08, 2007

Children as would-be murderers

HEBRON, West Bank: A Palestinian attacker stabbed and wounded two Israeli police officers Sunday at a checkpoint outside a Hebron shrine that has been a flashpoint for violence in the past, the Israeli army said.

Israeli forces responded by shooting the attacker in the leg, the army said.

The attack — during the weeklong Jewish holiday of Passover — occurred at a checkpoint outside the shrine, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque.

In the early afternoon, a Palestinian, who appeared to be about 17 years old, pulled out a knife and stabbed two policemen at the checkpoint, the army said. One was lightly wounded and the other was more seriously injured, the army said.
The news media doesn't refer to this teenager as a "child," and for good reason - he was acting as an adult and tried to murder two people. It would be silly to call him a child. The word "child" evokes a pre-teen, not a 17-year old.

Yet "human rights" organizations routinely use the word "child" to refer to any Palestinian Arab victim who is under 18 years old. This is consistent across B'Tselem, the UN, PCHR, DCI and all others. The age 18 is a convenient though arbitrary benchmark.

As far as I can tell, not a single one of these "human rights" organizations records the circumstances of what exactly the "child" was doing at the time of death. The only attempt that I have seen by anyone was by the ICT in 2002, so its data is quite out of date.

When looking even at Palestinian Arab statistics on "child fatalities" one can see that only 30% of them are under 13, hardly a random distribution. Couple this with the fact that over 50% of PalArabs are under 18 and it would appear that the number of both teenage and preteen victims is relatively small considering that the terrorists work in urban areas.

In other words, it is remarkable that the IDF has kept the number of noncombatant child victims as low as it has, and the percentage of teenage victims that are also combatants is simply never measured.

But somewhere in the air-conditioned offices of so-called human rights organizations today, a spreadsheet is being updated with another "child victim." And next month or next year, when "human rights" organizations issue press releases of "child victims of the intifada," the would-be murderer in Hebron will be counted as another "child injured by the IDF."

UPDATE: The always disgusting IMEMC reported the story this way:
Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron shot and wounded Sunday a Palestinian boy after two soldiers were stabbed near the Haram Alibrahimi mosque “Cave of Patriarch”.
In paragraph 3 does the story allow that it is possible that the "boy" is the one who stabbed the soldiers.