4,000 Dolls Dressed as Palestinian Stone-Throwers Found at Israeli Airport
Customs officers searching packages at an Israeli airport came across a surprise Tuesday: 4,000 dolls dressed as Palestinian stone-throwers.
Israeli customs workers assumed they were inspecting clothing, rugs, and plastic products Tuesday when they opened a package labeled as such at Haifa Airport. Instead, they found something entirely different inside: 4,000 tiny dolls dressed as Palestinian stone-throwers.
The stuffed toys were wearing red, green, black, and white scarves, and they had their faces covered by keffiyehs inscribed with “Jerusalem is ours” and “Jerusalem, here we come.” Pieces of gray cloth meant to resemble stones were sewn into their right hands.
The dolls were intercepted en route from the United Arab Emirates at a time of heightened violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
According to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Palestinian attacks since mid-September have killed more than 20 people, nearly all of whom were Israelis. During roughly the same period, Palestinian officials have estimated that 100 Palestinians have been killed — some of them while trying to carry out attacks or in clashes with Israeli forces.
Many of the stabbings, shootings, and vehicular attacks occurred in or near East Jerusalem, which Palestinians consider their rightful capital.
Israeli authorities said the dolls were meant to incite such violence by encouraging Palestinian children to throw stones at Israeli civilians and soldiers. That practice has led many Israelis to label young Palestinians as terrorists.
“These dolls were making their way to the Palestinian Authority with one clear purpose,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Tuesday. “And that was to poison the minds of innocent children.”
Where exactly the dolls were coming from and precisely for whom they were intended were not immediately known. But Hotovely made clear she believes any Palestinian adult ordering such a toy for his or her child is encouraging violence.
“The Palestinians are continuing to incite their youth, using any means necessary to educate them about violence and hatred,” Hotovely said. “Here, it’s in the form of a doll.”
Photo credit: Haifa Customs