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Israel stunned by boy terrorist, 9 (abridged)

AT the age of nine, Ahmad al-Hanajreh is Israel’s youngest Palestinian prisoner. Armed soldiers are guarding him round the clock at a hospital in the southern town of Be'er Sheva, where he lies isolated in a room in the children’s ward, recovering from a bullet in the hip.
Ahmad has been held since last weekend when, armed with knives, he and his elder brother Muhammad, 13, broke into the Jewish settlement of Netzarim, apparently planning to attack the inhabitants. They were shot and wounded by a rabbi…
Ahmad, one of 10 children, had returned from school as usual and helped his mother, Kameleh, to milk the family’s goats. When they finished at about 5pm, he told her he was going to see his grandmother.
Instead, he and Muhammad made for Netzarim, home to 6,000 heavily armed settlers, where they are believed to have penetrated perimeter security by digging under a fence…
Although teenage suicide bombers have become almost common, the involvement of a child of nine has shocked both communities into a new bout of mutual recriminations.
The Palestinian Authority has been making a supreme effort to convince its children that there is no greater achievement than to die for Allah in battle, said Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli group that reports on television programmes it regards as an incitement to violence against Jews.
Hamas, the fundamentalist group responsible for numerous bombings, claims it has warned children against joining its struggle but says they are influenced by the deaths of young Palestinians around them. A recent study showed eight out of 10 Palestinian boys aged nine to 13 claim they are willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause…
Their uncle, Baker al-Hanajreh, said the boys behaviour had changed in the past two years; they had become aggressive and spoke frequently of Mohammed al-Durra, a 12-year-old boy killed in a shoot-out between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in Gaza in 2000. Ahmad would say that if the Netzarim settlement was cleared of Israelis then his people would have their freedom, his uncle said…