The youngest amateur journalist in the Palestinian territories, Jana Jihad, tells her story from the perspective of a Palestinian child – that of a childhood interrupted by dramatic events in the village of Nabi Saleh, north of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
According to Jana’s mother, Nawal Tamimi, Jana was traumatized after a young man in the village was shot dead by the Israeli army: “He … used to always be friendly and nice to her so that she became attached to him. When she saw his blood on the ground, she became frantic.”
Aged six at the time of the incident, Jana boldly approached Israeli soldiers, defiantly asking why they killed her friend. “I miss him,” she shouted in a video, which became popular on social media.
Living in a conflict zone, Palestinian children have been subject to detention, collective punishment and human rights organizations accuse Israel of violating children’s rights, particularly the right to live.
It is this reality that inspired Jana who told the Arab Weekly, “I want the world to know that we are not terrorists and to expose the army’s violence against us.”
Her videos, in which she talks about the plight of Palestinians as seen through a child’s eye, have gone viral on social media.
Janna Jihad is only ten years old, but that doesn't stop her from being a journalist.https://t.co/tyBX5HnNSb
— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 29, 2016
Jana is often seen leading demonstrations. Carrying the Palestinian flag and chanting anti-occupation slogans, protesters repeat after her in Arabic and English.
In her videos, she says of the Israeli occupation, “If we stop protesting, they will take the rest of the lands.”
Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at the non-governmental organization, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) said it documented the death of 560 Palestinian children in 2014, including 547 in Gaza during the 50-day war between Israel and the resistance groups in the summer of 2014.
He added that, “Israel is the only state to prosecute children in military courts that lack basic standards of due process.”
(PC, Arab Weekly)