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Palestinians have increased use of children to beat Israeli security

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

TEL AVIV Palestinian insurgents have increased their use of children for operations against Israel.

Israeli military sources said Palestinian insurgency groups have employed children as young as eight to support insurgency attacks against Israeli targets. They said the youngsters have been asked to smuggle explosives, weapons, or bomb components for such groups as the ruling Fatah movement as well as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The use of children by Palestinian insurgency groups has nearly tripled since 2002. The military said that in the first half of 2004, 72 Palestinian minors were arrested at checkpoints on charges of trying to smuggle weapons or components to Palestinian insurgency groups.

In 2001, 27 Palestinian youngsters were arrested at Israeli military checkpoints for insurgency activities, Middle East Newsline reported. The military did not release figures for the arrest of Palestinian minors in 2002 and 2003.

Military sources said the increased use of youngsters was in response to heightened security measures around the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They said Palestinian youngsters will help insurgents for as little as 10 shekels, or more than $2.


Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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