Palestinian children playing with plastic weapons, copying the fighting methods of the terrorist organizations.

Children playing with plastic rifles

(Filisteen Mubashir Website, October 15).

Al-Arabiya TV reports on children playing with toy guns

1. Al-Arabiya TV broadcast a report on October 21 about Palestinian children who play with toy guns, presenting it as "worrying” and whose results may harm children and adolescents. The report showed young children playing with plastic M-16s and handguns, imitating the fighting methods of the terrorist organizations.

Children playing with toy guns (Al-Arabiya TV, October 21).

Lives of children and adolescents endangered

2. The toy guns are imported into the Palestinian Authority-administered territories from China (and possibly other countries). They are almost identical to the genuine weapons issued by the IDF and in the possession of the terrorist organizations. That sometimes makes it difficult for soldiers to distinguish between terrorist operatives and children playing with toy guns. Sometimes the children play in areas of terrorist organization activity or IDF counterterrorist activity in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian children playing with toy guns sold on Eid al-Fitr in Judea and Samaria

(Filisteen Mubashir Website, October 15), endangering their lives.

3. Over the past few years a number of Palestinian youths have been injured by mistake by IDF soldiers when they held guns and rifles which later turned out to be toys. Some of the more prominent incidents were the following:

•  On November 3, 2005, during IDF activity in the town of Qabatiya , the soldiers saw an armed individual and shot and killed him. In their search carried out after the shooting, they saw they had killed a Palestinian youth, next to whom was a plastic rifle with a telescopic sight (IDF spokesman).

•  On November 20, 2006, a 15-year old Palestinian boy arrived at the Jericho roadblock, drew a gun and aimed it at the soldiers manning the location, who opened fire and killed him. Only later did they discover that the gun was a toy (IDF spokesman).

•  On July 3, 2007, during an IDF activity near Khirbat Louza near Hebron , the soldiers saw an armed Palestinian, opened fire and killed him. When they approached the body they discovered he was an Palestinian youth and that the gun was a plastic M-16 (IDF spokesman).

The great similarity between toy guns and real guns

The upper rifle is a plastic imitation of an M-16 with a telescopic sight. It was found in the possession of a 13-year old Palestinian boy who was mistakenly killed in Qabatiya on November 3, 2005 (IDF spokesman November 3, 2005). Under it is a genuine M-16.

The upper rifle is also a plastic imitation of an M-16 found in the possession of a 16-year old Palestinian mistakenly killed in Khirbat Louza near Hebron on July 3, 2007. Under it is a genuine M-16. (Photos courtesy of the IDF spokesman).

Games and ceremonies with toy guns as part of indoctrination to hatred and violence

4. Playing with toy guns and children taking part in ceremonies with toy guns are common events in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria . Deliberately indoctrinating children to violence and hatred is very common and begins in kindergarten, especially kindergartens belonging to Hamas’ civilian network (the da’wah ). 1 It continues through elementary school, high school and summer camp. It is even part of children’s TV programs and appears in children’s magazines. In addition, Palestinian children are influenced by the violence prevalent in Palestinian society and are exposed to both the scenes of violence arising from clashes between the IDF and terrorist operatives and the public executions and violent detentions which are part and parcel of internal Palestinian conflicts.

A kindergarten children’s "military display.” They are dressed as Hamas operatives and
carry toy guns (Al-Aqsa TV, May 31, 2007).

5. Indoctrinating children to violence and hatred (manifested by games with toy guns) is one way the terrorist organizations prepare new generations of terrorists , and makes it difficult for Israel and the PA to reach a long-term agreement. In addition, the terrorist organizations often recruit youths to carry out real terrorist attacks, including suicide bombing attacks (despite the criticism of the Palestinian populace regarding the use of adolescents in terrorist missions 2).

A Palestinian child at a Hamas demonstration in Ramallah held to commemorate
Ahmad Yassin and Abd al-Aziz Rantisi (Al-Aqsa TV, April 6, 2007).

Test case: Hamas-affiliated kindergarten in Hebron hands out toy guns 

6. The Hamas-affiliated Muslim Youth Association in Hebron () runs a large educational network and operates a number of kindergartens throughout the city. One of its kindergartens is called Ein Sara and is located in the same building as the association’s offices on Ein Sara street .

7. On several occasions at the end of 2005 the Israeli security forces confiscated toy guns found in the association’s offices and in the kindergarten itself. The existence of the guns in the hands of the association and the kindergarten children shows it was not not a chance occurrence but rather part of the association’s deliberate "educational” policy, such as weapons were used for "parades,” ceremonies, etc.

Guns in the Ein Sara kindergarten

Toy guns imported into the West Bank for children’s games. They were confiscated from the Ein Sara kindergarten in Hebron at the end of 2005. They can be seen at the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center display at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center in Gelilot.

The sticker on the magazine reads "Ein Sara kindergarten.”

One of the guns is labeled "Made in China .”

1 For further information about indoctrinating children with hatred and violence, see our June 6, 2007 Bulletin entitled "Inculcating kindergarten children with radical Islamic ideology and the culture of anti-Israel terrorism”

2 For further information, see our May 30, 2005 Bulletin entitled "Public outcry in Nablus against use of teenagers for terrorist missions” .