The status of children in our respective societies is emblematic of the status we attribute to God.
By Jesse Steven Wheeler | Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) | Feb 24, 2022
The greatest irony to all of these so-called “holy wars” waged in the name of God (read: real-estate disputes) is that it is God himself whom we betray.
But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. —Mark 10:14 (NRSV)
The Children of Occupation
Last week witnessed the first tragic murder in 2022 of a Palestinian child, when Israeli occupation forces shot and killed 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Salah in the village of Silat al-Harithiya. Reports indicate that he posed no direct threat to the soldiers. On Tuesday this week, Israeli forces shot and killed 13-year-old Mohammad Rezq Salah in the town of al-Khader near Bethlehem. After he had been shot, local media report, “Israeli forces prevented Palestinian ambulances from arriving to the scene.”
Such incidents follow immediately in the wake of what is described “as the deadliest year  for Palestinian children since 2014.” According evidence collected by Defense for Children International—Palestine:
- 86 Palestinian children have been killed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since January 2021.
- Israeli forces killed 76 Palestinian children, including 61 Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip and 15 Palestinian children in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
- Armed Israeli civilians killed two Palestinian children in the West Bank.
- Seven Palestinian children were killed by rockets misfired by Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip.
- One Palestinian child was killed by an unexploded ordinance, the origins of which could not be determined.
- One Israeli child was killed by shrapnel from a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza strip.