Palestinian slings in the face of Israel’s armed forces

Palestinian sling

A small piece of leather or cloth pouch with two lengths of cord on its both ends, the first is attached to one finger and the other is let go at a precise moment to hurl a stone at the target. Such homemade weapon has always been a prominent tool in Palestinian young men’s confrontations with Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories.

The sling or shepherd’s sling, which is different from the Y-shaped slingshot, is a primitive weapon, but it satisfies the intifada (uprising) youths’ needs during their skirmishes with armed soldiers and allows them to throw stones much farther than they could do by hand.

As the “Jerusalem Freedom” intifada broke out recently in response to the US recognition of Occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the use of this tool regained momentum among the young people and helped them to sketch heroic scenes at flashpoints, where Israeli military posts and checkpoints are usually located.

The use of slings has never been limited to Palestinian young men. Several photos of girls on the internet also confirm they know how to use such weapon during clashes with Israeli soldiers.

A 20-year-old young man from Balata refugee camp told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that he is skilled in making slings using pliant pieces of leather that help stones go far distances.

He added that the use of slings also helps keep a distance between protesters and Israeli soldiers and reduce chances of their exposure to arrest.

For her part, a 19-year-old girl called Omaima said that the Palestinian young men always rely on popular primitive weapons such as stones and slings during their skirmishes with Israeli soldiers.

However, such simple weapons are means used by Palestinian protesters to confront Israel’s armed forces and to express rejection of the occupation of their land, Omaima affirmed.

Using stones by hand or other means like a sling has always been a source of disturbance to Israel. In 2015, the Knesset passed legislation imposing tough penalties and imprisonment on stone throwers.

A security cabinet meeting chaired by Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu also adopted a decision in September 2017 allowing soldiers to use deadly force against Palestinians throwing stones.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

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