A debate is raging over civilian deaths, some of them children, at a Palestinian school.

GAZA CITY, Gaza (AP) — Israeli mortar shells exploded Tuesday near a U.N. school in Gaza that was sheltering hundreds of people displaced by Israel’s onslaught against Hamas militants, killing at least 30 Palestinians, tearing bodies apart and staining streets with blood.

Israel’s military said its shelling — the deadliest single episode since Israeli ground forces invaded Gaza Saturday — was a response to mortar fire from within the school and said Hamas militants were using civilians as cover.

The pictures tug at the heartstrings, as they are designed to do. But there are other pictures of Palestinian children that need to be seen as well.

At A Soldier’s Mother, a marvelous blog I discovered just this week, the mother of an Israeli soldier describes in searing detail the different parenting techniques of Palestinians and Israelis.

I heard a [Palestinian] father mourning the death of his son. He blames the Israeli government, and I blame him. “Are you insane?” I want to ask him. “How could you allow your son to be near mortars being fired? What did you think Israel was going to do?” Why didn’t you take your son?… My son [the Israeli soldier] is stationed far from the cities. Why? Because if he is a target, we don’t want civilians nearby. We do not hide in hospitals, in schools, in homes. Why, why do the Palestinians? And if they do, why, why does the world blame Israel?

Hamas uses children — even their own children — and other civilians as human shields. Palestinian children are indoctrinated from an early age into the perverse death cult of Islamic extremism.

A Soldier’s Mother has many pictures of young Palestinian children playing with toy guns, grenades, suicide belts and more. But check for yourself, scroll to the bottom. Little Green Footballs, which has chronicled what it aptly calls “Palestinian Child Abuse” for years, has a slideshow with over 150 similar photos.

Israel will, and should, continue to do what it can to avoid civilian casualties. The Palestinians, on the other hand, breed their children for martyrdom. This deep-rooted sickness in Palestinian society, which has Islamic extremism as its foundation, is the primary barrier to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Photo Credit: A Soldier’s Mother

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