Destined to die

When death becomes a desire for children, the situation in which they live is certainly too difficult for anyone to bear.
A soldier stands looking left, in front of them stands a young girl, visible from the shoulders up, behind a large boulder. In the background another soldier stands in front of a row of closed shops.

Every child has his or her own dreams, which is hoping to achieve, and a dream behind the other that begins his or her life. And children’s dreams are always spontaneous, looking forward to a beautiful future. But I was deeply shocked to hear a child say that she only dreams of dying!

While monitoring one day, I tried to stop a 15-year-old girl from walking down the road to her school, because it was full of occupation soldiers who were firing dozens of gas bombs at children while they walked to school. “Please leave me, I just want to be martyred and enter heaven because there are no gas bombs there,” she responded.

Unfortunately, this was not an uncommon incident. At least five times a week in Hebron I hear such sentences from young people; especially when there are a lot of soldiers and kids who just want to pass through to get to their schools. Others come and ask us to help them get to their destination because they don’t want anyone to get shot or arrested as is a common occurrence. They don’t actually want to die now, but they are tired of living under constant occupation; they just want to celebrate their next birthday!

Death is an inevitable destiny for all of us, and a reality that everyone realizes. But when death becomes a desire for children, the situation in which they live is certainly too difficult for anyone to bear. There is no hope of achieving anything in an occupied existence.

In our work at CPT, we accompany people’s daily lives; we are with them and we can feel their feelings and understand where these words and thoughts are coming from but there are things that we will never be able to understand. Why is a girl in her childhood just hoping to die?

Palestinians living in the H2 area surrounded by 21 Israeli checkpoints are in a large prison under occupation. They have two choices: leave their homes to escape the most intense part of the occupation meaning their house will be taken over by settlers; or resist and prove that despite the occupation, you will continue to live your life.

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