Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
A masked Palestinian youth uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli police officers during clashes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, on Sept. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner) © 2010 AP
For many of rock-hurling Palestinian youths who participate in violent demonstrations, the clashes are a chance to show off — the Middle East conflict equivalent of hanging out in a mall or trying new skateboard tricks.
They frequently pace in front of reporters, sometimes clutching a rock or two, or puffing on a cigarette. Sometimes they loudly demand hot tea from younger kids, who look on admiringly. They pretend to avoid photographers but usually end up loitering in front of them.
And it's a chance to dress up — or down.
The youths conceal their faces with T-shirts to avoid identification as they hurl rocks and set fire to tires in a cat-and-mouse game with Israeli forces, who usually respond by firing tear gas and rubber bullets.
Another one went for a superman-style look: He was bare-chested, with a T-shirt covering his face and a baseball cap on his head. He tied a Palestinian flag to his neck, forming a cape.
A third youth also covered his face, using a striped T-shirt.
He looked like a lost, angry Zebra.
Diaa Hadid is an AP correspondent based in Jerusalem.