Almost 300 children have been killed while taking part in terrorist attacks over the past eight years, a new study conducted by Palestinian Authority researcher Mahdi Jaradat has revealed. A total of 3,973 PA Arabs died in the past eight years while committing acts of terrorism, he found.
Fatah had the most fatalities, with a total of 1,437 terrorists, 128 of them children, killed since September 28, 2000. Hamas was in second place with 1,410 killed in the same time period, 96 of them minors. Fifty-three children were killed while taking part in Islamic Jihad operations, five were killed as members of the PFLP, four died with the DFLP, and three with PRC.
Women were increasingly numbered among terrorists as well. A total of 95 women were killed while carrying out attacks, Jaradat found. Thirty-four women were killed working with Hamas, and 30 with Fatah. Islamic Jihad, which had a much lower casualty rate than Hamas and Fatah overall, counted 24 women among its casualties.
Hamas carried out more suicide bombings than any other group over the past eight years, with a total of 72. Islamic Jihad was next with 48 suicide bombings, and Fatah was third with 42. Each of the three groups used women as suicide bombers, a move that was initially controversial due to traditional Muslim views that saw warfare as out of bounds for women.
According to the IDF, 29 suicide bombers were PA youths under the age of 18. Several youths as young as 14 and 15 have been caught attempting to approach checkpoints with bombs. One such would-be bomber told soldiers that terrorists offered him NIS 100 to transport explosives; another said terrorists had threatened him and told him they would accuse him of providing information to Israeli security forces—a capital offense in PA-controlled areas—if he did not do as they said. A third youth arrested while wearing a bomb belt was mentally disabled. He was safely disarmed.
Israeli and American researchers have warned that many PA youths are encouraged to die as terrorists. While more blatant incitement to murder and death as a terrorist can be found in media outlets such as Hamas' TV station for children, another common source of incitement and hate is PA textbooks, which often leave Israel off of Middle East maps and hail slain terrorists as “martyrs.”
Respect for child suicide attackers can be found within the PA parliament as well: Legislator Maryam Farhat, more commonly known as Umm Nidal, sent three of her sons to commit suicide attacks. One was only 17 when he took part in a suicide attack in the town of Atzmona in which five Israeli teens were murdered.