Child terrorists of the Knife Intifada: “All I know is that you are occupiers”

What leads Palestinian teenagers to take knives and stab Jewish Israelis? A Channel 2 News journalist went to Ofer Prison and received a special tour through the children’s wing. “I knew that there was a chance that I could die; I took that into account,” said one of the teenagers.
Children’s wing at Ofer Prison Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Ofer Prison in Beitunia is the temporary home of more than 1,100 security prisoners. Among those serving time are Fatah and Hamas terrorists, prisoners who have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms or those who were arrested under administrative detention. Next to them sit 13 juvenile detainees, where the average age is below 13-years-old. Several of them were arrested last year during the Knife Intifada.

A peak inside of this special wing enables us to understand the face of the Knife Intifada. It began with throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails and eventually led to stabbing. Teenagers filled with ideological fervor that masked ignorance towards everything concerning Israel. Their parents knew Israel, worked here and even spoke Hebrew. But these teenagers were born into a reality of complete separation, which is where their hatred began.

The teenagers said that they have never been to Israel and have never seen Tel Aviv. Several of them noted that they have never even spoken with a Jew. “All I know is that you are occupiers and all I want to know is why you do it,” said 15-year-old Muhammad (pseudonym), who carried out a stabbing attack.

“We knew of the danger” Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

“My stance towards Jews is not that I have to kill them but they occupied our land,” Muhammad continued. "There are Jews in Europe and I would be willing to shake their hand and drink tea with them. But the Jews that are here occupied our land.”

Muhammad denies that his personal background is what led to his actions: “I have a high GPA. Thank G-d, my life is good and my social status is good. I knew that there was a chance that I could die. I took that into account. The fear is there but in the moment, you forget everything. You have a target. You put it before your eyes and you have to carry it out.”

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