What happens to the psyche of people who are subjected to relentless intimidation? In my case the intimidation was minor, being followed around by nameless individuals – not exactly the stuff of nightmares. But it made me feel powerless, made me seek to gain a position of power by finding out who these people were.
Consider then the need of Palestinian people to regain some kind of control over their own lives, to return to a time when they weren’t relentlessly dominated and constrained by Israeli rule – a time when they could travel freely from one village to another without being detained for hours at checkpoints, a time when their children could freely seek an education, a time when an ambulance carrying a critically injured person wouldn’t be detained by Israeli soldiers while the person bled to death, a time when food and medicine from other countries flowed into their villages without problems, and the villagers could sell the products of their harvest to other people without having it destroyed by Israeli soldiers.
The need to regain control made Palestinian youth pick up rocks and throw them at soldiers wearing helmets and bullet-proof vests. For this they were gunned down. So some of them sought weapons larger than rocks, and gave their allegiance to whatever organization promised to blow the biggest hole in the wall cutting off their freedom.