Cowards rely on conquering the weak in order to try to make themselves appear strong. This is what the Israeli occupation in Palestine does. There are frequent scenes of attacks against children, special needs people and women. The story of the brutal treatment and then the arrest of the innocent young man with Down’s syndrome, Mohammed Al-Ajlouni, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied Jerusalem, is neither the first nor the last in this context.
The same happened with the child, Muhammad Shehadeh, 14, who was shot dead by the occupation forces in the town of Al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, for allegedly throwing stones at them.
In addition, more than 700 Palestinian children are subjected to arrest and trial annually, and about 2,200 have been martyred by the occupation’s fire since 2000 up to now, according to the figures of human rights organisations.
Despite the impressive documentation that these institutions carry out for such crimes against children, they have not been able to prosecute any Israeli official for them due to the complicity of the international community, on the one hand, and the inaction of the Palestinian Authority, on the other.
The eminent American professor, Norman Finkelstein, said sarcastically in one of the seminars that “As far as I know in the aggression that killed 350 children and destroyed 6000 homes, there are three Israelis who have been held accountable for stealing a bank credit card! In the aggression that led to the killing of 550 Palestinian children and the destruction of 18,000 homes, three Israelis were referred for investigation, accused of stealing nearly $600.”
In fact, Israel is the only country in the world that continues to commit such crimes and continues to get away with impunity all the time.
Not only did the occupation arrest children, interrogate them, and bombard their schools and homes, but it also launched field executions in the streets in front of the cameras and people. The murder of Dania Irsheid in 2015, Khaled Bahr, Ahmed Bahr and Abdel Fattah Al-Sharif in Hebron in 2016 and Nassim Abu Roumi in occupied Jerusalem in 2019 are just a few examples of this.
In addition, the executions of children on the Gaza border in the “March of Return” protests began in March 2018, including the two children, Yasser Abu Al-Naga and Othman Helles.
As well as targeting the child, Muhammad Al-Durah while he was in his father’s arms in 2000, in Gaza, then claiming that he was an Israeli child killed by the Palestinians and, last but not least, the child, Muhammad Shehadeh.
All of this, despite its nastiness, is not surprising, especially when it comes to the fact that the occupation steals land and does not care about human rights. On the contrary, it has even stolen the heritage and food of the Palestinians. However, what is shameful is that, in western countries, they completely ignore these violations or simply comment on them with a few words that are meaningless. Then they act with great anger towards parents, if they abuse their children and take the children away from them. When can we pay attention to these serious violations against children in Palestine?
Did you see Mohammed Al-Ajlouni’s eyes when the soldiers were attacking and assaulting him? Did you see the fear and terror that shrouded him? How can a young man in his situation be blamed for this, especially that he is affected with Down’s syndrome? Do you know that the worst thing Mohammed does is pouring juice on people? Is that frightening at this point?
Yet, it is cowardice that lies in the midst of this heavily armed soldier, despite the fact that he is just facing a young man with a special condition. The conclusion is that everyone who remains silent about these brutal crimes against children is complicit, and everyone who is able to support those who are legally and humanly weak and then fails to do so, is supporting the criminals. May God preserve us from this. He said: “O my Lord! For that Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace on me, never shall I be a help to those who sin!”
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.