Since the beginning of the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland in 1948, Israel has purposefully targeted Palestinian youth and children. On Oct. 28, three Palestinian teenagers were playing outside when they were targeted near the border fence separating Gaza and Israel. Khaled Bassam Saeed, 14, Abdul Hamid Abu Zaher and Mohammed Ibrahim al-Sattari, both 13, youthed and yearning for life, were killed by an Israeli air strike.

The names of three budding boys, best friends in school and always together, are added to the heartbreaking list of Palestinian youth and children targeted by the Zionist state. The numbing pain of burying children is routine for Gaza.

Arabic media spokesman Avichay Adraee states the three boys were targeted because of their attempt to “tamper with the security fence and apparently place an improvised explosive device.” This is an outrageous lie that has been vigorously denied by the victims’ families, and is typical of the slander spread against victims of Israeli violence following their deaths.

The mainstream, corporate media’s narrative painting Palestinians as violent aggressors while uplifting Israel as the victim of aggression is false. Mainstream media has done well in portraying Palestinians as angry, unreasonable,and aggressive while painting Israel’s image as one of a defenseless victim that possesses the right to protect itself through any means necessary.

This is especially true in the besieged Palestinian region of Gaza. The people of Gaza are a population born of expulsion; the large majority of Gazans are refugees. More than half of its population is children, youth under the age of 18. When we hear of the murders and mayhem, and the death and destruction inflicted on Gaza, we must bear in mind that the recipients are overwhelmingly children.

Israel has killed 218 Palestinians since the Great March of Return protests along the Gaza border fence began in March of this year. 19 percent of those martyred were children. This past July, Israel launched the largest wave of strikes since Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, hitting more than 40 targets.

Since 2004, Israel has launched eight murderous assaults on Gaza. The majority, 51 percent of the population, is children, and it is predominantly children who are killed as a result of Israel’s air strikes and bombardment. These attacks are:

  • Operation Rainbow, 2004
  • Operation Days of Penitence, 2004
  • Operation Summer Rain, 2006
  • Operation Autumn Clouds, 2006
  • Operation Hot Winter, 2008
  • Operation Cast Lead, 2008-2009
  • Operation Pillar of Defence, 2012
  • Operation Protective Edge, 2014

Those in the media who accuse Palestinian children as being terrorists and carriers of explosives are laying the basis for even more Israeli repression and killing in the future. But despite all of this, Palestine’s children live on and the Palestinian people’s resistance continues. Support for the Palestinian struggle is growing by the day, and here in the United States we can do our part by demanding that the U.S. government immediately cut off all aid to Israel and by supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.