An Important Conversation on a Palestinian Child poisoned by Israeli Military Waste

An important conversation on between Palestinians and Jews is developing on Israeli military waste on the West Bank and its destruction of a child’s leg. In response to this shocking tragedy people inside Israel, abroad, and in Palestine are trying to draw attention to this by working together.

Yesterday (Monday) we went with Iyad to search for and photograph evidence to document the military waste and dangerous materials that the IOF leaves in the area of the Jahalin Bedouin in the south Hebron hills. Iyad took us to visit a family whose child’s leg was badly burnt a month ago when he was playing in the desert with ammunition remains left behind by the Israeli military. Nothing could have prepared us for our meeting with the boy, whose name is Jabar, even though he had received medical attention at Yata [a nearby city]. The condition of his leg is shocking, and it will be a miracle if he does not lose his leg. This resulted from his playing with some sort of acid that resembles salt (who knows what the implications are). Jabar, who is 13 years old, is urgently in need of medical treatment.

The important question in the age of web relations is to what degree citizens of the globe can work together globally to affect a local situation? What is practical and effective and how to go about finding that out? There are simplistic approaches that abound to this sort of thing, like hurling incriminations. But what does this do? I have noticed that the further away from the actual problems the more that Jews and Arabs tend to respond ideologically. But good people, Jewish and Palestinian, closer to the situation look more deeply at how to help. The real answers to violent conflict are always on the ground. Imposed solutions are sometimes necessary but they are never as lasting as the bond that builds between good people on both sides of a conflict who are determined to fight together for justice and peace, to struggle simply and effectively for the life of a child, or even the leg of a child.

© Marc Gopin