Palestinians are volunteering at an increasing rate to serve as suicide bombers or to carry out other deadly attacks against Israelis. The groundswell is fed by outrage over what Palestinians see as Israeli atrocities against Palestinian civilians, by the grinding frustration over torturous roadblocks and checkpoints erected by Israeli forces to impede Palestinian attacks, and by despair over the future. A person who dies in an act of "resistance" is assured a place in heaven, as is his or her family, many Palestinians believe. And that's not to mention economic benefits paid to survivors.
Many Palestinian children also receive rudimentary weapons training at summer camps sponsored by Hamas or mainstream Palestinian organizations. It was unclear whether [Ismail] and his classmates received such training, though their crude weapons were easy to obtain or assemble from household goods.
The family of Iziden Alhelo, 14, cries out in grief as his body is carried away by Hamas militants for burial. The boy was killed by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip, which to some qualifies him as a martyr.; PHOTOGRAPHER: BRIAN WALSKI / Los Angeles Times; A poster welcomes Ismail abu Nadi, 14, into martyrdom. His parents, [Mohammed abu Nadi] and Amal Hilial, were shocked when he was killed while trying to attack an Israeli settlement.; PHOTOGRAPHER: BRIAN WALSKI / Los Angeles Times