In a tense scene captured in exclusive Associated Press Television News footage, soldiers jumped behind concrete barricades and sent a yellow robot to hand scissors to the 16-year-old boy so he could cut off the vest. They then ordered him to strip to his underwear. Experts later detonated the bomb, and there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident. The teenager’s family in Nablus identified him as Hussam Abdo, and his brother, Hosni, said “he has the intelligence of a 12-year-old.”
Although neighbors identified Abdo as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine militant group, his family said he did not belong to any militant group, but went to demonstrations held by all of them. The incident was the latest in a series of what Israel says are foiled militant attacks involving young Palestinians.
Two things. First, why should Israel hesitate to kill Palestinian men, when those same men are willing to send their own children to die fighting in their stead? Second, this abomination of sending a retarded boy to his death is actually a good sign that the terrorists are clearly on the run, as Debka commented yesterday. Hamas is in disarray, not only because its leader is dead, but because its operatives have been targeted for weeks. Surprise, surprise, that killing the enemy should be the way to win the war. As General Patton said, the purpose of war is not to die for your country, it’s to make the other son of a bitch die for his. Eventually, as almost every defeated nation has learned, you start running out of soldiers. That’s when the white flags start flying.