Palestinian Teenage Terror - Inherently Illegal, But Does Anyone Care?

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Amb. Alan Baker - The recent resurgence of acts of terror committed by incited Palestinian teenagers should be ringing alarm bells throughout the international community, especially among those who purport to show extreme concern for the abuse of children. Regrettably, the international community seems to be deliberately turning a blind eye to Palestinian teenage terror. Journalist Yoni Ben Menachem lists the causes that serve as the pretext for this recent resurgence of teenage terror. These include social network incitement through "Tik Tok," "Instagram" and other platforms that permit graphic video footage, accentuating Israeli military actions against armed terrorist groups in Palestinian towns, including the demolitions of illegal houses. Such videos deliberately and artfully glorify those terrorists as role models for Palestinian teenagers. Widely accepted norms and principles of international humanitarian law and norms of humanity to which most countries are party specifically prohibit placing civilians, especially women and children, at the forefront of violent demonstrations, and their usage as human shields to conceal the presence of terrorists, and to attack Israelis. Such usage is a violation of universally accepted international treaties including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), to which the Palestinian leadership has acceded. Article 8(2)(b) states that "enlisting children under the age of 15 participate actively in hostilities" is a "serious violation of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict within the established framework of international law." It is a well-documented fact that Palestinian teens are encouraged to be involved in acts of terror, and receive support and inducement from the Palestinian leadership, Palestinian society, as well as from their homes and schools. Given these facts, why does the international community choose to ignore Palestinian violations of international laws and norms? The writer is former legal counsel to Israel's Foreign Ministry who participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians.

2023-03-09 00:00:00

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