A Palestinian boy being trained to shoot by Hamas (Associated Press)
February 18, 2020
B'nai Brith Canada
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
For decades, the plight of Palestinian children has largely been ignored by the global community.
They have fulfilled the roles of combatants, labourers, support staff, and even suicide bombers. As a result, their childhoods have been shortened by death, severe injury, or imprisonment. Neglect and token condemnation of this issue have emboldened organizations such as Hamas, Fatah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in their exploitations of children as war resources.
Children have been used in violent riots and as human shields. Many have been recruited into terrorist activity, sent to stab people in the streets or used as suicide bombers. Still others are sent to work in attack tunnels, digging in unsafe conditions. At least nine have died in collapsing tunnels. Despite these tragedies, Palestinian children continue to be recruited. Estimates suggest 10,000 minors are trained in Gaza terrorist camps each and every year.
Thought leaders – and political leaders, such as you – have immense sway around the world, and a public statement against these practices will help create the pressure needed to end the use of Palestinian children as soldiers and terrorists.
We, the undersigned, ask that you take a strong stand in opposing the usage and exploitation of child soldiers around the world – including by Palestinian terrorist and militant groups.