by Kristin Ess
Over 1000 children, aged roughly between 8 and 12 years old, gathered today in Manger Square in front of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity to demonstrate in support of the Iraqi people. The kids were holding hand-made signs and banners.
Manger Square is not near an Israeli imposed checkpoint, nor is it near an illegal Israeli settlement. It is the center of an Area A Palestinian town under Palestinian Authority control (before Israel’s invasion). According to numerous eye-witnesses, two Israeli jeeps drove up and began throwing sound bombs, firing tear gas at the children, and shooting into the air.
These kids came from the Bethlehem area, from Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, from Azzed, Aid’ and Deheisha Refugee Camps. The Israeli soliders injured three of the children who are now in the hospital.
One of the directors of Aida Camp’s Lajee Center says, “The children were crying, you know, because they were scared. Some threw up from the gas.”