The Children of the Gods of War (Part 1)


Prof Hoosen Vawda – TRANSCEND Media Service

“The Death, Abuse and Suffering of Children by the Evil Purveyors of Regional Conflicts” [i]

The Psychologically and Physically traumatised Child of the Gods of War.
What is the Future of this Child? Image Credit AFP

27 Aug 2022 – This series of publication, documents the global plight of the children and minors who are the subjects of the fallout from regional conflicts and wars and who are maximally impacted. Governments and regimes are accepting this suffering as being the “new normal”.  This is not only a direct attack on the voiceless, innocent sector of humanoids, which is often bearing the brunt of the military attacks in conflicts across the world, but will result in the emergence of a new generation of youth, which has experienced unbearable violence in their formative years of life and will certainly grow up to be a “lost generation” of uneducated, belligerent future, regional leaders, who will know nothing else, but war as an effective means of solving their problems of daily life and inter-humanoid interactions, in the future.

This is indeed a dismal scenario of the future fate of this generation of children who are exposed to the harsh realities and cruel fate of their group, as a whole, extending from Latin American countries, where they see killings of members of drug cartels, to Palestine, where they are exposed to geopolitical discrimination and annihilation, to Syria where a group of children were successful in starting a regional conflict in 2011, to the mass displacement of the Burmese Muslims, the Rohingyas to Cox Bazaar in Bangladesh, where they are growing up in the greatest slum on mother Earth.  The author predicts that if the global powers, who are themselves responsible for destabilizing different countries for political and resource gains, by fighting proxy wars, does not cease its foolish, short sighted strategies, then they will be facing the threat of global terrorism and anarchy in their own countries as this generation of youth grown up to be trained seasoned miscreants who will think nothing of afflicting suffering and unleashing mass anarchy on peace loving citizens.

Globally, attacks on children continue unabated. The number of countries experiencing violent conflict and brutal war is the highest it has been in the past three decades. The result is that more than 30 million children have been displaced by conflict. Many of them are being enslaved, trafficked, abused and exploited. Many more are living indefinitely in limbo, without official immigration status or access to education and health care. This dismal scenario is experienced by children from Afghanistan to Mali, to South Sudan, Yemen, as well as in rest of Africa, including South Africa and beyond.  On a daily basis, warring parties are flouting one of the most basic principles of war and that is the fundamental human rights of children and their protection.

The western supporters of the brutal Israelis regime do not deem it necessary to realise that killing of children and incarceration of minors, is in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention[1], and yet these acts of brutality are perpetrated on a regular basis with impunity, because Israel is the proverbial “holy cow” and cannot be criticised, for fear of upsetting the western masters, in the process. This paper highlights the plight of the Palestinian children and minors killed, maimed and imprisoned by the Israeli Defence Force, to maintain state security, at any cost, even disregarding children.

In order to monitor, prevent, and end aggression against children and minors, the United Nations Security Council[2] has identified and condemned six grave violations against children in times of armed conflict and war scenarios.  These contraventions are listed as:-

  1. Killing and selective maiming of children and minors
  2. Recruitment or use of children in armed forces and armed groups, as child soldiers
  3. Attacks on schools or hospitals
  4. Rape or other grave sexual violence
  5. Abduction of children;
  6. Denial of humanitarian access and aid for children.

The author would add additional points, to the list:-

  1. Trafficking of children
  2. Sale, kidnapping and Nurturing of female children for prostitution, as in rural India and Far East
  3. Child labour in sweat shops for western fashion, designer houses and mines.
  4. Mental Reprogramming of children and minors in “Training Centres” in China, as with the Muslim Uighurs.

Between 2005 and 2020, more than 266,000 grave violations were verified against children, committed by warring parties in more than 30 conflict situations across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. The actual number is undoubtedly far higher.[3] Ultimately children need a peaceful and a welcoming environment conducive to their overall wellbeing to thrive wherever they are growing up, like plants.  It is therefore critical for the physical and mental wellbeing of children that efforts are made in a concerted and determined manner to end the present global, seemingly endless armed conflicts.  These attempts at resolution should be redoubled. However, children cannot wait for protection, while wars continue; humanity must never accept attacks against children and be most vociferous in ensuring that these acts of aggression never occur, in the first place.

However, the present global hot spots in Ukraine, and Middle East, including the Israeli, security forces, are intentionally attacking children, with impunity, since they look upon the children of their opponents as sub-humanoids, which can be annihilated or specifically maimed, with impunity.[4]  The Israeli occupation army and paramilitary Jewish settlers have killed 545 Palestinian children and minors since the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000.  Among these victims, 266 children were 14 or younger while the ages of the remaining 279 ranged from 15 to 18. Moreover, as many as 20,000 Palestinian children were injured, with nearly 1500 sustaining life-long disabilities.

The total number of Palestinians killed by Israel during the 2000 Intifada is around 2700, the vast majority of them civilians,[5] according to a report by Khalid Amayreh, published on 13th April 2004.[6]  It is more than thirty years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child[7], and 73 years since the four Geneva Conventions of 1949[8],  the international legal bedrock to protect civilians in war,  it is time to say “Enough! Stop attacks on children.”[9]  The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (commonly abbreviated as the CRC or UNCRC), effective from 02nd September 1990 is an international human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. In spite of all these regulatory measures, the Israeli abuses of Palestinian children are ongoing and incessant. The occupying Israeli forces sustain a protracted war of oppression, brutality, killing and maiming as well as submission of Palestinian children.[10]

In 2018, Israeli forces killed 56 children. Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli army snipers, drones and security forces across the occupied Palestinian territories. Five of the murdered children were under 12 years of age. In Gaza, 49 children were murdered by Israel in activities pertaining to the Great March of Return protests. More than 29,000 Palestinians were injured during 2018, the highest number of injuries in a single year since the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs began collecting data in 2005. Nearly 60 of those Palestinians killed and 2700 of those injured were children. This trend of a sustained war on children is continuing in 2019 and even in 2022.

In July 2019, 10-year-old Palestinian child, Abdul Rahman Yaser Shtewi was shot in the head, at point blank range, with a live bullet and underwent surgery at Rafidia Hospital, Nablus where they removed over 100 shrapnel fragments from his brain. Israel denies using live bullets, but the fragments removed from the child’ head, the shells on the streets of Kufr Qaddum and eyewitness accounts point to the use of lethal so called ‘butterfly bullets’ designed to explode with the body, as they did to Al Jazeera Journalist, Ms Shireen Abu Akleh in May 2022.[11]

Furthermore, in July, a 14-year-old boy was shot by an Israeli soldier when he went to retrieve a football near the Apartheid Separation Wall near Al Khader village in the West Bank. This 14-year-old, Mahmoud Salah subsequently had his leg amputated as a result of the targeted shooting, with exploding bullets [12], specifically designed to maim when targeting the limbs.

Detentions of minors are also rampant by the Israeli Defence Force.  Audited statistics reveal that between 500 and 700 Palestinian children are arrested, interrogated and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system each year. At the end of July 2019, 210 Palestinian minors were held in Israeli prisons as security detainees and prisoners, including one under the age of 14. Another four Palestinian minors were held in Israel Prison Service facilities for being in Israel illegally. The IPS considers these minors, both detainees and prisoners as criminal offenders. It is interesting to note that since 2000 approximately 12,000 Palestinian children have been prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. These children are aged between 12 and 17 years old. The vast majority are prosecuted for allegedly throwing stones.  The shocking features of these detentions are:-

  • It is reported that 95% of these children are subjected to torture and inhumane treatment whilst in military custody. This treatment includes beatings, intimidation, being shackled in irons, sleep deprivation, and being denied food, water and access to toilet facilities. 70% of detained children are strip searched.
  • Children detained are routinely denied access to legal counsel and advice, denied the right to have a parent present during interrogation and forced to sign confessions written in Hebrew – a language they don’t understand.
  • When sentenced these Palestinian children are then transferred from occupied territory to prisons inside Israel with the deliberate consequence that they will have little or no contact with parents and families. There are currently over 200 children serving sentences in Israeli jails, leading to concerns for their physical and psychological welfare.
  • The age of the child at sentencing is considered and not their age when the alleged offence occurred, noting that some of these minors have been detained for an inordinately long time in prison, where they are denied their rights and subjected to ongoing abuse.

Three Israeli Defence Force officers, in full army gear, arresting a Palestinian minor.

It is also noteworthy that the arrested children are trailed in Military Courts, set up by the Army.

Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children using military courts. These military courts deny Palestinian children the most basic human and legal rights such as access to legal counsel, advice and legal representation. They have a self-reported conviction rate of 99.74%.  Upon arrest and during interrogation, children as young as 12 years old are held in solitary confinement and denied solicitors, access to parents and basic rights such as food, water and access to the bathroom.

The Israeli military detention system has developed notoriety for its systematic torture, inhumane maltreatment and psychological abuse of defenceless and innocent Palestinian children. It is estimated that Palestinian children make up 45.8 % of the Palestinian population.   It is also clearly evident that the occupying Israeli authorities are now waging a concerted and targeted war of oppression, brutality and submission upon the children of Palestine. The Israeli state is deliberately trying to criminalise and terrorise Palestinian children. Heavily armed Israeli soldiers routinely arrest children in the streets. These children are then held in headlocks, shackled and frog marched to the local military detention centre, where military court prosecutions follow.

On the 29thJuly 2018, Israeli soldiers stormed the home of Mohammad Rabi Elayan in East Jerusalem. He is 4 years old. They came to arrest him for alleged stone throwing. Residents of the area prevented the arrest, but the toddler had to appear at the military police station the next day, with his father, to address the charges. The following day, 6 year old Qais Obaid from Esaweyah Town also received a summons, accused of throwing a juice box at soldiers. A few days later, Israeli soldiers stormed the Palestinian home of Shadi Seder in Alkhalil City (Hebron) to serve a summons on a 6-year-old girl, Malak, accusing her of ‘threatening behaviour’ toward Israeli military personnel. Targeting very small children in certain areas, Hebron and East Jerusalem , where Israel would like to ‘clear’ the indigenous population, seems to be part of a systematic plan whereby Israel terrorises Palestinian children to exercise extreme pressure on families.

The philosophy of “Apartheid” as espoused and practiced by the Nationalist, White minority government in pre-liberation, 1994, South Africa[13], is also widely practiced by Israeli Government,[14] according to Amnesty International.  Israeli children living in illegal settlements in the West Bank who are charged with offences are subject to a juvenile Israeli civilian and a criminal legal system while Palestinian children, in the same geographic area are charged under military courts leading to calls for an end to this apartheid system. In February 2017, there were 2244 children held under Administrative Detention or Internment without trial, a practice which can lead to incarceration for long periods of time without any charges being brought, as it was in white, Apartheid South Africa, pre-1994.

The Israeli state policy of terrorising innocent children should be challenged by every civilised society and democratic governments, who claim to uphold human and civil rights. Alas this is never so, causing untold misery to the children and actually helps in leading to the mental transformation of the child from a young, formative stage of their lives.  Palestinian children are being psychologically traumatised and mentally scarred by this protracted Israeli war on children.  Ironically, Israel is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The blatant disregard for the rights of Palestinian children by Israel, its policy of torture and abuse of Palestinian children must be exposed and challenged.[15]

On 06th March 2013 the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated that Palestinian children detained by the Israeli military are subject to ill-treatment which violates international laws, as it issued recommendations to improve the protection of minors in Israeli Prisons.[16]

“Ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized,” according to a briefing paper prepared by the agency.  According to figures cited in Children in Israeli military detention: observations and recommendations, approximately 700 Palestinian children each year between the ages of 12 and 17 are arrested, interrogated and detained by Israeli army, police and security agents. In the past 10 years, some 7,000 children, the majority of them boys, were held, an average of two children each day.  Based on interviews with some of these minors, as well as with Israeli and Palestinian lawyers, and reviews of cases, UNICEF concluded that there appears to be a pattern of ill-treatment during the arrest, transfer and interrogation of child detainees.

The 22-page report cites examples of arrests of children at their homes between midnight and 5:00 am by heavily armed soldiers, as well as physical and verbal abuse during transfer to an interrogation site, and interrogation using physical violence and threats. The paper also cites “treatment inconsistent with child rights,” including shackling minors during court appearances and incarcerating them in Israel, which isolates them from their families and interrupts their studies. In the report, UNICEF recommends a series of policy changes which prevent breaches of international laws, as well as safeguarding authorities from false allegations of wrongdoing.

Among its recommendations, UNICEF said that “the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.” The report also noted some improvements already made, such as raising the age of adulthood for Palestinian children from 16 to 18.[17]  On the contrary and not to disturb the status quo, certain publications which expose the brutality of the Israeli Government against Palestinian children has been removed from the UNICEF website,  on the pretext of updating information. The website message reads “404 error: page not found. Sorry, we can’t find the page you are looking for. As we continue to keep our site up to date, this page may have been moved or updated.”[18] One such example is a publication on “Children in Israeli Military detention: UNICEF.”

However, this type of brutality exhibited against children by the Israeli Defence Force as a routine measure, is possibly based on historical practices as narrated in the Abrahamic scriptures, the Torah, the Bible as well as the Islamic Quran.

The Pharaoh orders midwives to kill all the first-born male babies of the Israelites – Add.27210, f.8v.[19]

Historically, thousands of years ago, according to the Old Testament, the Jews were slaves in Egypt. The Israelites had been in Egypt for generations, but then, they had increased in numbers and  become so numerous that the Pharaoh at the time feared their presence. He feared that one day the Israelites would turn against the Egyptians and take over his kingdom. Hence, by oppression and suppression, the Pharaoh, gradually and stealthily, forced them to be enslaved.  He subjugated these Children of Israel into eternal slavery for the benefit of the successive dynasties of the kingdoms of Pharaonic Egypt.

The ruling Pharaoh made the slaves build grand ‘treasure cities’ with multiple pyramids and temples, an arduous, back breaking and often fatal task.  The Egyptian overseer, holding a stick, instructs the barefooted slaves, who are involved in the construction projects. The overseer keeps a watch from the  top of a tower, while the slaves made bricks from clay and straw.  However, the Pharaoh was greatly concerned that his Israelite slaves would rise up against him, one day in the future.  This anxiety, coupled with prophetic fore-telling by his temple priests that a person will rise from amongst the Israelites to bring about the end of the Pharaoh’s royal kingdom, as well as his personal doom.   The Pharaoh, therefore decided to dispense a brutal punishment, as well as effect a permanent solution to the ever-increasing numbers of the Israelites in his Egyptian Kingdom.

The Pharaoh decreed that all the first-born male babies of the Israelites were to be killed, by being drowned in the River Nile, or be put to the sword by his soldiers. Pharaoh gave orders to the midwives that “Every son that is born, you, shall cast into the river”. In the right corner of the picture, a naked child is being thrown into a river, while another child is already drowning there.  However, because Pharaoh refused to set the Israelites free, The Lord, in retribution, elected to punish him, sending ten plagues on to Egypt[20].

These included The Plague of Blood, The Plague of Boils, The Plague of Hail, The Plague of Locusts, The Plague of Darkness and other dreadful punishments from the Lord of the Old Testament, who was a vengeful God. The heartless Pharaoh persisted and continue to refuse to free the Israelite slaves,, from his bondage.  As a further retribution to the ever-transgressing Pharaoh,  the Lord, inflicted, yet another, final plague on the arrogant Pharaoh.  This plague, brought about on him and his oppressive people, was so terrible, that it was predicted by Prophet Moses to effect some response, in terms of freeing the Children of Israel from the slavery of the Pharaoh.  This final plague was thought to be a certain, strategic measure, to persuade the Pharaoh to let his Israelite slaves, be free to leave his Kingdom with Prophet Moses. This was the beginning of the great Exodus to the “promised Land’ where total freedom from the bondage of the Pharaoh, would be achieved.[21]

That night, The Lord, as a punitive measure, sent the angel of death to kill the firstborn sons of the Egyptians. According to the three sets of Abrahamic scriptures, God commanded Prophet Moses to order the Israelite families to sacrifice a lamb and smear the blood on the door of their houses. In this way the angel would know to ‘pass over’ the houses of the Israelite, who would not be affected by the final plague of death, of all firstborns in the Egyptian, including the Pharaonic families.. This is why the festival commemorating the escape from Egypt is known as Passover.

This plague did indeed come to effect and the Pharaoh and Queen mourned the death of their first-born son, together with the rest of the Egyptian families.  The punishment, from the Lord was dispensed collectively,  for they were all responsible in maintaining and sustaining the self-proclaimed supreme power of the Pharaoh.  Hence male children were decimated by the Lord as a punishment for the continued transgressions of the Pharaoh, probably Rameses 11 at the time of Prophet Moses and the great Exodus.[22]

Another, example of killing of children, is as illustrated religiously, traditionally and scripturally. This act of subservience to the God of Abraham and depicted in the God commanded sacrifice by him, as an offering to the Lord, of his son, Isaac. Abraham, originally Abram, is the common Hebrew patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.[23] In Judaism, he is the founding father of the special relationship between the Jews and God; in Christianity, he is the spiritual progenitor of all believers, whether Jewish or non-Jewish[24] and in Islam, he is a link in the chain of Islamic prophets that begin with Adam and culminates in Muhammad.[25]

Ibrāhīm is mentioned in 35 chapters of the Quran, more often than any other biblical personage apart from Moses.[26] He is called both a hanif (monotheist) and muslim (one who submits),[27] and Muslims regard him as a prophet and patriarch, the archetype of the perfect Muslim, and the revered reformer of the Kaaba in Mecca.[28] Islamic traditions consider Ibrāhīm the first Pioneer of Islam (which is also called millat Ibrahim, the “Religion of Abraham”), and that his purpose and mission throughout his life was to proclaim the Oneness of God. In Islam, Abraham holds an exalted position among the major prophets and he is referred to as “Ibrahim Khalilullah”, meaning “Abraham the Beloved of God”. Ibrahim is also mentioned in Quran as “Father of Muslims” and the role model for the community.[29]

In the early and middle 20th century, leading archaeologists such as William F. Albright and G. Ernest Wright and biblical scholars such as Albrecht Alt and John Bright believed that the patriarchs and matriarchs were either real individuals or believable composites of people who lived in the “patriarchal age”, the 2nd millennium BCE.[30] But, in the 1970s, new arguments concerning Israel’s past and the biblical texts challenged these views; these arguments can be found in Thomas L. Thompson’s The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives (1974),[31] and John Van Seters’ Abraham in History and Tradition (1975).[32] Thompson, a literary scholar, based his argument on archaeology and ancient texts.

His thesis centered on the lack of compelling evidence that the patriarchs lived in the 2nd millennium BCE, and noted how certain biblical texts reflected first millennium conditions and concerns. Van Seters examined the patriarchal stories and argued that their names, social milieu, and messages strongly suggested that they were Iron Age creations.[33] Van Seter and Thompson’s works were a paradigm shift in biblical scholarship and archaeology, which gradually led scholars to no longer consider the patriarchal narratives as historical.[34] Some conservative scholars attempted to defend the Patriarchal narratives in the following years, but this has not found acceptance among scholars.[35] By the beginning of the 21st  century, archaeologists had given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac or Jacob credible historical figures.[36]

From the Bible: The Sacrifice of Abraham Genesis 22:1-18 Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”[37]

Relatives carry the bodies of children during the funeral of eight members of the Abu Jarad who were killed overnight in an Israeli strike in Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza strip.
INSERT RIGHT: Israeli torture of Palestinian children in the prison, in outdoor cages, even during the winter is reportedly a common practice:[38]
INSERT LEFT: Israeli whipping of a Palestinian minor in the prison on the bony points of the shoulder blades to inflict maximum pain and suffering.
Picture Credit : Hosam Salem  Nur Photo Rex

The Bottom Line is that in the 21st century, “children have become frontline targets. This is a moral crisis of our age: We must never accept this as the “new normal” and every effort must be made to restore the innocence of childhood to ensure the safety of our future generations.  It is certain that the present cohort of children and minors, in conflict and war zones will not grown up as “normal children” but an aggressive legion of mentally disturbed, reprogrammed individuals, who will only know aggression and belligerence in their entire outlook to life, with disastrous consequences on the society of the future.  Socially disharmonious adults will result, if the present state of acrimony and brutal killings is the daily exposure, social programming and schooling of the present sector of childhood humanoids.

One can only fervently pray and hope that this type of humanoids do not evolve into leaders of the future, because eventually, the “survival of the fittest”[39] will take over the physical, mental and social development of humanoids and the end point of their social integration of these very group of traumatised children in present war zones will be the emergence of “social monsters”[40], unleashed onto the society.  “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most adaptable to change.” This quotation is one of the most popular and misattributed phrases on the internet. Most people think it’s something Charles Darwin wrote. However, He did not. This widely applicable quote is from Leon Megginson[41], a Louisiana Professor of Business Management and is a stark realisation of what will happen in the future, with the Children of the Gods of War.


[i] Personal quote by author August 2022






























[30] Bright, John (1959). A History of Israel. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-664-22068-6.

[31] Thompson, Thomas L. (1974). The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham

[32] Seters, John Van (1975). Abraham in History and Tradition. Echo Point Books and Media. ISBN 978-1-62654-910-4.


[34] Moorey, Peter Roger Stuart (1 January 1991). A Century of Biblical Archaeology. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-25392-9.






[40] A descriptive term coined by the author to describe a group of humanoids, who were severely impacted by belligerence in the formative years of their lives.




Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.

Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 29 Aug 2022.

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