Your Influence Counts ... Use It! The SPOTLIGHT by Liberty Lobby

Reprinted from, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive

Israeli Soldiers Targeting Youth Of Palestine

  • Palestinian kids have be come the latest innocent targets of Israeli soldiers.
Exclusive to The SPOTLIGHT
By Christopher Bollyn

Israeli soldiers have been "shooting to kill" -- or maim -- young Palestinians pro test ing the Zionist occupation of their homeland. Evidence strongly suggests that the Israeli army has commanded its troops to "aim for the whites of their eyes" leaving many Palestinian children blinded for life.

Ziad Ahmed Farrah, 20, clearly remembers being 100 yards away from Israeli soldiers in Palestinian-controlled Bethlehem when one of them fired a rubber-coated steel bullet into his left eye.

"I was hit in my eye and my arm," Ziad said. "My friends carried me about 50 me ters to the ambulance. I arrived at the eye hospital at exactly 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30."

Ziad is one of many patients who have come to St. John's Opthalmologic Hos pital in East Jerusalem since Friday, Sept. 29, with eye injuries sustained in Israeli attacks against Palestinians.

"All we can do for him now is to repair the fractures and fit him for an artificial eye," one of the nurses explained. "We will try to match the color of the other eye."

Khaled Abu Aker, a Palestinian journalist in Jerusalem told The SPOTLIGHT on Oct. 11 that more than 25 Palestinians -- 12 in Jerusalem alone -- have lost their eyes as a result of being hit with rubber-coated steel balls.

The so-called "rubber bullets" are actually marble-sized metal balls with a thin rubber coating.

A 12-year-old child, Ala' Mad, is at St. John's after being shot in the eye with a rubber-coated steel bullet. The hospital report states that his left eye "was perforated twice, with the contents expelled, and the bullet caused fractures in the medial aspect and floor of the orbit. It has lodged in the maxillary sinus and could be seen in the upper jaw, protruding behind the teeth."

This is the kind of catastrophic damage that "rubber" bullets inflict when fired from close range at a person's face.

By Oct. 5 more than 12 children were in the hospital with injuries from Israeli bullets and a total of nine patients had lost their eyes.

Among them is Ramadan Salwat, 15, who lost one eye while the other was seriously injured by a rubber-coated bullet. Doctors are trying to repair the injured eye, but it is likely that Ramadan will remain blind.

Other patients shot in the eye include Abdel-Rahman An-Nadi, 12; Ibrahim Abu-Mursa, 12; Amjad Mazeed, 12; Taher Awad, 13; and Ahmad Abed, 14. In all of these cases, the doctors say the injuries could only have been inflicted by bullets fired at the heads of the children.

Ziad is upset over the loss of his eye, but is even more offended by the military assault on Palestinian children: "I want to say to the soldiers who shot me, 'You would not want someone to shoot your son, so you should not shoot a young person who is someone else's son.' "

Reports issued by the Palestinian hospitals indicate that 60 percent of the 3,300 wounded are children. Further more, 77 percent of the injuries were in the upper body, i.e. above the waist. Nine ty-two percent of the victims were under 30 years of age.

Most of the Palestinians killed were shot in the head or the chest. The high number of dead indicates Israel's intent to kill Palestinian demonstrators, rather than to merely disperse them.

A great number of the Palestinians killed during the first week of protests were children, including six who were 18 years old, 13 who were under 18, and some as young as 12. The great majority were unarmed civilians.