I was unaware of this until my friend Olivia told me about it Sunday night. (I just read that another deadly raid was carried out as we talked.) She just came back from Palestine, where she volunteered as an English teacher with an organization. Two of the Palestinians who were shot were teenagers from Hebron, the city she stayed at. No, she did not know them. The other volunteers whom she worked with are still there, and they send her pictures and videos of what is going on there.
It should be noted that the Israeli settlements that the teenagers were kidnapped from are actually illegal. Israel and Palestine enter into peace talks, but even while their leaders talk, they are literally bulldozing Palestinian houses arbitrarily. It happens every day. Though it is unfortunate that the teenagers were kidnapped, people get stolen from their homes in night raids and don't return for ten years. Children are arrested for no reason.
If you are my friend on Facebook, you can watch a video that I shared from some of Olivia's friends. Unfortunately, it is not on youtube, so I can't put it on my blog. In it, two boys under twelve years old are arrested. One of the volunteers keeps saying "Why are you arresting him? He's done nothing, we were there. Look, he was just eating his crisps. He's only eleven; it's illegal to arrest him. They're not twelve yet, you can't arrest them, it's illegal." Both of the boys are wearing backpacks, and one of this has an open bag of chips in his hands. His scared sobs are heart wrenching. The worst part is when the soldier looks back at the camera with a mix between a sneer and a smug smile.
Here is a video of homes being bulldozed. Again, this happens every day.
I try not to get into politics on this blog, but this is not politics; it is human rights violations. It's different when you know people who are actually living in these places, rather than just reading about them in the news. Everything she told me was consistent with what my Israeli friend and Ken (who traveled there) have told me about the situation. However, these are things the media doesn't really cover, and it is easy for me to take my new knowledge for granted, because I have slowly been acquiring it. But the world needs to know, especially the western world, because we are hugely influential on the peace talks. We need to be informed.
I never ask you to share my posts, but I am asking you to share this one. The only way for change to happen is from the ground up--the governments have done nothing for the last few decades, and the public doesn't actually know what the situation for the Palestinians is like. So, the first step to change is to get informed, to use the internet to our advantage.
So, please share this. The more people know, the more international pressure will be put on the Israeli government, and fewer people will die. Every individual can make a difference by merely becoming informed and spreading the word. It only takes two seconds.
I wish the Palestinians the best.