Kids buy toy guns when Ramadan ends in Palestine

Is anyone else bothered by this?

AP Photo by Majdi Mohammed of Palestinian boys playing with their new toys at the end of Ramadan in Nablus

Here, I am told, it is absolutely normal. It has been going on for years. Ramadan ends, the three-day holiday (Eid) begins, and the kids get gifts — new clothes, which they proudly parade around the house and the neighborhood. And, they now get shekels (coins of the Israeli currency), too. With those shekels, they go to the local corner shop, and buy toys.

What toys do these local corner shops stock? Why, the guns, of course. It is the law of supply and demand — but which came first?

The boys go for guns — they want nothing else. Their parents say they will have no peace unless the boys get their guns — toy guns, but realistic enough to put them in danger if a nervous Israeli patrol passes.

AP Photo by Mohammed Ballas in Jenin on the second day of the Eid in Jenin

We are living here under military occupation, and kids have been killed here by Israeli troops who said they thought the toys were real weapons.

These toy guns do look real. And the boys I saw, on a hour-long trip through Jerusalem suburbs and part of the West Bank yesterday, the second day of the Eid, were swaggering around in very creditable imitations of armed security men on a power high.

AP Photo by Muhammed Muheisen - boys with their toys in Al-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah on the second day of Eid

If the kids had their way, the toys would probably be real guns. r.

AP Photo taken in Nablus on the second day of Eid by Majdi Mohammed

This generation, their parents say, are amazingly angry, and tough. The parents say they fear the kids will be uncontrollable when they are bigger.

AP Photo by Muhammed Muheisen in al-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah.

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