Amnesty International Reiterates Condemnation
of Palestinian Use of Children For Terror
(May 23, 2005)
Amnesty International reiterates its calls to Palestinian
armed groups to put an immediate end to the use of children in armed
“Palestinian armed groups must not use children
under any circumstances to carry out armed attacks or to transport
weapons or other material,” Amnesty International said.
On May 22, 2005, a 15-year-old Palestinian child carrying
explosive was arrested by the Israeli army at the Huwara military checkpoint,
at the entrance to the West Bank
town of Nablus.
This is the third such incident this year in which
Palestinian children have been arrested at Israeli military checkpoints
while carrying explosives or munitions. On February 3, a 17-year-old
was arrested at the same checkpoint while carrying explosives and bullets,
and on April 27, two 15-year-olds also carrying explosives and bullets
were arrested at a military checkpoint at the entrance of the West
Bank town of Jenin.
Several Palestinian armed groups, including the al-Aqsa
Martyrs' Brigades, an offshoot of the ruling Fatah
party, Hamas, Islamic
Jihad, and the Palestinian
Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), have used children
to transport explosives and munitions, thereby endangering their lives.
In some cases these groups have sent children to carry out suicide
On November 1, 2004, a 16-year-old Palestinian from
the West Bank town of Nablus carried out a suicide bombing which killed
three Israeli civilians in a Tel Aviv market. He was the youngest Palestinian
to carry out such an attack. The PFLP claimed responsibility for the
attack. The boy's family condemned those who used their child for the
Palestinian armed groups have repeatedly shown total
disregard for the most fundamental human
rights, notably the right to life, by deliberately targeting Israeli
civilians and by using Palestinian children in armed attacks. Children
are susceptible to recruitment by manipulation or may be driven to
join armed groups for a variety of reasons, including a desire to avenge
relatives or friends killed by the Israeli army....
“The exploitation of children, who are often
particularly vulnerable or traumatized, by armed groups and armed forces
must cease at once, as must the killing of children, and those responsible
for such crimes must be brought to justice,” said Amnesty International.