Children pay with their lives in Palestinian-Israeli tensions

Infant death leads to beefed up security
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Story highlights

  • A baby in Israel, a Palestinian kindergartner and an American-Palestinian youth killed last week
  • It's a déjà vu of the killings of youths before the Israeli-Gaza conflict this past summer
  • Back then, three Jewish teens were found killed
  • A Palestinian youth was burned to death in what Israeli prosecutors have called a revenge killing
The slayings of Israeli and Palestinian teens during the summer was a bloody precursor to the Gaza-Israeli conflict that took more than 2,000 lives.
Now, once more, children on both sides have lost their lives violently, rending hearts and stoking resentment.
One of those killed was a kindergartner, another a baby, both run down by motorists last week.
And on Sunday, Palestinians lay to rest a teenage boy with U.S. roots, whom the Israel Defense Forces shot and killed in the West Bank on Friday, according to the U.S. State Department.
In Ramallah, Palestinians are angry and are expected to take their grief to the streets marching beside the casket of Orwa Hammad, 14, whose father lives in New Orleans, where he also spent a year, according to The Times-Picayune newspaper.
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Anger over Palestinian-American's death

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Clashes, gunfire
The teen died in clashes in the town of Silwad on Friday, the State Department said.
The IDF said an "attack was prevented" when the military fired upon a male hurling a Molotov cocktail on a main road with traffic. They have not identified the deceased.
Hammad's father got on a plane the day he died to go be at his funeral.
Hammad's uncle Hakeem Khalek, back in New Orleans, feels the odds were stacked against him. Boys throwing objects are no match for soldiers' bullets, he told the Picayune.
"This all happens overseas, where kids throw rocks at military jeeps. And of course the Israeli army returned fire (and) we're not talking rubber bullets," he said.
Innocents on both sides
A week ago, an Israeli settler ran over and killed a Palestinian kindergarten girl and seriously injured another child. The official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, said it was deliberate. Israeli police say they are investigating.
Three days later, a Palestinian man drove his car into commuters at a rail stop in Jerusalem. It rammed a baby carriage with a 3-month-old inside. She died.
She was an American citizen, the State Department said.
Driver Abdelrahman al-Shaludi then fled on foot, and police gunned him down. He later died of his wounds in an Israeli hospital.
He rammed the commuters intentionally as an act of terror, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Cruel déjà vu
Children also paid the price of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians before this summer's armed conflict.
The bodies of three Israel teens kidnapped in the West Bank in June were found charred. Hamas leaders later said that some of its militants had killed Eyal Yifrach, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Frankel, who was a 16-year-old dual U.S.-Israeli citizen.
The militants had done this without their knowledge, Hamas said.
Then three Israelis allegedly killed Palestinian youth Mohammed Abu Khedair, 16, in July out of revenge for the Israeli boys' deaths, Israeli prosecutors said.
They abducted, beat and strangled Khedair, then burned him to death after he fell unconscious. It was "only because he was an Arab," Jerusalem's district attorney said. The three have been indicted.
Khedair's Palestinian-American cousin, Tariq Abu Khdeir, of Florida, received a beating from Israeli police after clashes sometime after the slaying. One of the officers was suspended from duty.
Tensions mounted in the wake of the killings. Israeli airstrikes and Gazan rocket fire followed. Seven weeks of heavy fighting ensued, with more than 2,000 Palestinians killed and 67 deaths on the Israeli side.