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Arafat's 'baby tigers' 'lion cubs' Ashbals - child soldiers

Reader comment on item: Arafat: A Political Biography

Submitted by Lima (United States), Aug 2, 2020 at 01:23

Lewiston Evening Journal - Apr 28, 1969, 3

The Palestine Arabs can be mobilized only around the issue of fighting
Arab Commando Attacks
By Henry J Taylor
Baby Tigers
The State Department finds
that such leaders as Arafat, Shukairy and Habeche talk of "fighting for 20 or so years." They even have training camps for 12-year-old youths, a expanding cadre called Baby Tigers

April 28, 1969
Daily Press from Newport News, Virginia · Page 11

Throught all these years these fragmented people have had no political life. The Palestine commandos or fadayeen are mainly a political instrument dedicated to uniting the Palestine Arabs.

Fiery-eyed Yaser Arafat, a Cairo educated Palestine Arab, leads the main commando organization, Al Fateh. A second leader is former diplomat Ahmed Shukairy, - who has represented Syria and Saudi Arabia. And a third, Georges Habeche, a Palestinian who became a doctor in Lebanon, is on record in summary of the objective: "The Palestine Arabs can be mobilized only around the issue of fighting."
The State Department finds that such leaders as Arafat, Shukairy and Habeche talk of "fighting for 20 or so years." They even have training camps for 12-year-old youths, an expanding cadre called Baby Tigers. ; .:in effect, the Palestine commandos are moving to take the destiny of the Palestine Arabs out of the hands of the Arab world leaders and into their own.

Newsweek - Volume 74, Issues 18-26 - Page 42 - 1969
When Al Fatah opened training camps for 8- to 15-year-old "Lion Cubs" last spring, the response was immediate. Now, on playgrounds of Palestinian refugee camps, Yasir Arafat's young lions— many of them dressed in cut-down combat ...

Encounter with Israel: a Challenge to Conscience - Page 291 - Arthur Roy Eckardt - Association Press, 1970
Arab governments have organized , trained , equipped , and paid terrorist bands from the very start . 17 Nine - year old trainees are taught a fedayeen chant : " Oh Zionist , do not think you are safe . Drinking blood is a habit of our men "

Fedayeen; the Arab-Israeli Dilemma - pp.96-97 - John Laffin
Free Press, 1973
Propaganda And Indictrination
... leader told me in Lebanon 'This is a morale - building and educational movement to prepare the well - rounded citizen of Palestine - equipped and trained to defend his nation but also to be a good, productive citizen.'
During training the boys chant l, ' Oh Zionists!, do you think you are safe ? Drinking blood is a habit of our men.' They undergo a Mau Mau - like hardening course in which each boy is required to tear apart a live chicken to develop a lust for killing.

After their daily lessons in refugee camp schools the Ashbal run to parade and for several minutes their instructors drill them . The movements are simple but like everything else about Ashbal , highly political .
When ordered to stand at ease , they shout ' Asifa ! ' ( Storm ) . When they stamp to attention they bellow ' Fatah ! The instructors are either former school - teachers or wounded guerrillas , men who are almost deified.
Part of the training ritual is the frequent morale - building talk by a fedayeen supposedly just back from a mission.
The boys are taught to dismantle, clean and reassemble rifles, pistols and machine guns and are allowed to fire live ammunition ...

Children of the Storm: The Abuse of Children for the Promotion of the Revolution - Keith Campbell
-Lone Tree Publications, 1987
Chants which these children have to learn and repeat include : " Oh Zionists , do you think you are safe ? Drinking blood is the habit of our men " and " We are from Fatah ! We have come to kill you all ! ( 8 ) At age 12 , the children receive two ...

How Revolutionaries Use Children - pp. 9-10- Heléne Roux - 1988
Thus it is that Fatah (Arafat's faction of the PLO) has a youth wing the Ashbal (" Lion Cubs") for boys of 6 and older, which produces "junior terrorists". Chants which these children have to learn and repeat include: "Oh Zionists, do you think you are safe? Drinking blood is the habit of our men" and: "We are from Fatah! We have come to kill you all!" At the age of 12, the children receive two or three weeks of military training and each is issued with a weapon.
As part of their training, they are required to tear live chickens apart with their bare hands.
... On occasions these groups have used force to recruit members – kidnapping adolescents." The children thus recruited and trained are, of course readily available to carry out acts of terror. One writer on the PLO describes how Arab children have planted bombs in various locations for the PLO, whilst schoolgirls have been employed to send poisoned chocolates to enemies of the organisation. In another case, he reports that a 15-year old school boy carried out a hand- grenade attack on a Jewish family for which he was paid the sum of $6!"

The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian ...
Adi Schwartz, Einat Wilf · 2020 · Political Science
In Jordan and Lebanon, Fatah ran its Ashbal ( "lion cubs") program, in which children and teenagers underwent quasi-military ...

Arab Journalist Decries Palestinian Child-Soldiers | MEMRI
Oct 31, 2000 · While UN organizations act to save the child-soldiers, ... Was it wisdom that led Yasser Arafat ...


Child Soldiers: A Reference Handbook: A Reference Handbook
In the early 1940s, Arafat's father organized a fighting force in Gaza to support the exiled Mufti and recruited many youth, including his 12-year- old son, Yasser, and his two older brothers.
David M. Rosen Ph.D. - 2012


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