The generation of Palestinians now coming of age—and 56.4 percent of the population is under 19—have no hopes for peace, only of a lifetime of “resistance.” Growing up through two intifadas, they are isolated from the world, divided amongst themselves, and surrounded by violence, reports Steven Erlanger. The struggling West Bank economy offers few jobs and the only non-Palestinians they see are gun-toting Israeli soldiers. Resistance groups Fatah and Hamas are recruiting--and competing--aggressively. "We’re pushed all the time to be more political, more militant, more religious, more extreme,” says a 20-year-old student .
"Now, there is no politics, no talks," says a 46-year-old ambulance driver, "so the sacrifices of the youth are wasted and empty."
Future generations could have an outlook that's even more bleak. "It’s in the news, the environment, the sound of the Apaches and the F-16s and the cannons," says a Palestinian mother of 3, whose small children have never known a life free from violence, nor the hope of a solution. Her 6-year-old son told her he wants to be fat so that Israelis will not be able to see his suicide belt.