Israel Science and Technology Directory

Arab-Israeli Conflict - Articles

The Little Shahid

By David Wilder,, March 21, 2004.

What does the name Abdallah Koran mean to you? Anything? If not, it should. Abdallah Koran should be a banner-sized headline in all news publications around the world, hard-copy and Internet.


Abdallah Koran is about 10 years old. His exact age is not 100% clear. One afternoon last week, Abdallah, before making his way through an IDF checkpoint near Shechem in Samaria, was made a tantalizing offer. Approached by some 'older people', Abdallah was promised a great sum of money if he would do them a small favor. They requested that Abdallah act as a messenger and take with him, along with his school books, a backpack for some people waiting on the other side of the checkpoint.

Of course, little Abdallah agreed. Why pass up a chance to make some good money so easily?

At the checkpoint, a border policewoman, examining all those crossing over, became very suspicious. The backpack was big and heavy, much heavier than would normally be used by a ten-year-old. The youngster was quickly questioned - "What is in this backpack?"

Never having been questioned by uniformed Israelis before, Abdallah was frightened. "It's not mine. Someone gave it to me to take across the checkpoint, as a messenger."

The backpack was carefully removed to an isolated area, where an army sapper examined it and proceeded to explode it. Inside the backpack was a 6 - 10 kilo (about 15 lbs.) bomb belt, hooked up to a cellular telephone.

It seems that the terrorists who provided the bomb to little Abdallah had planned on blowing him up, together with the Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint, at the time of its examination. But the plan failed. The bomb didn't go off.

Had he managed to get it through the checkpoint undetected, it is most likely, according to Israeli intelligence-security forces, that the bomb would have been detonated on a bus packed with people, murdering Abdallah and the others on the bus.

As I wrote, you should know this already because this story should be headlining all news programs, radio, TV, newspapers and Internet. But, it's not. As of this writing (the day after the incident), this story does not appear on the homepage of CNN, Fox or MSNBC.

Let's, for a minute, play one of my favorite games: Make Believe. Make believe, for a moment, that a ten-year-old from, let's say, Hebron, was found carrying a bomb on his back, attempting to kill some Arabs in Hebron. Or, maybe a little boy or girl from Yitzhar, who was trying to kill some Arabs somewhere in Samaria. Or, or, or...

Can you imagine the headlines? I mean, after all, one of the pictures of the year, a few years ago, was a photograph of a Hebron child pulling off an Arab woman's headscarf. That was a major international crime that made blazing headlines. But a 10-year-old with a bomb, who was not only to be the killer, but also the target? Why should anyone pick up the story? A 10-year-old Arab with a bomb - that's everyday stuff. What's it worth?

Only a few days ago, 10 Israelis were killed in cold blood by two terrorists who managed to bypass the infamous 'wall' or 'fence' or call it whatever you wish - the magical barrier to prevent any such infiltration from Gaza into "Israel proper," in this case, the Ashdod port. That terror attack was billed as an 'almost mega-attack' due to the proximity of the terrorists to poisonous bromide tanks, which, upon explosion, could cause the deaths of thousands of people. But, here again, the terrorist detonated himself too fast, for one reason or another, and the 'big tragedy' was averted. This time. However, according to most news broadcasters, commentators and everyone else, it will (G-d forbid) happen. It's just a question of time. The Spanish attacks will seem like child's play in comparison.

In my opinion, mega-terror cannot be strictly measure by the number of people killed. Of course, numbers do mean a lot. But each and every individual person is just that, a person. And every loss is just that, a loss. To the families of victims, it is little consolation that their loved one was 'one of many'. When Mom or Dad, brother or sister, son or daughter is gone - they're gone and it makes no difference how many went with them.

In my opinion, the attempted use of Abdallah Koran, an Arab 10-year-old child, is mega-terror. The vile, immoral, depraved use of a child to kill others, this is mega-terror. Perhaps not in the quantitative sense, but certainly qualitatively.

Only the brilliant alertness of a young border policewoman saved many lives - lives of Israelis and the life of little Abdullah. Otherwise, Abdullah Koran would have been labeled, for the rest of eternity, 'the little shahid' - the little martyr, who killed and died for his people, without his even knowing it, against his will.