On December 8, approximately 4,000 plush toys of rock-throwing men dressed in Palestinian clothing were seized at the Haifa port by Israeli authorities, who said that the dolls were intended for the Palestinian Authority as a part of an incitement campaign.
Each doll’s face is covered by a keffiyah, with one arm raised and holding a tiny toy rock. Rock throwing has become a common form of attack by Palestinians intent on targeting Israeli officers and civilians.
The dolls also carry banners in traditional Palestinian colors that say “Jerusalem is ours” and “Jerusalem we are coming.”
Customs officials discovered the dolls in a container that came from the United Arab Emirates and were intended for the Palestinian Authority. According to the paperwork that came with the dolls, the shipment was intended to be clothing, rugs, and plastic products.
The container was sent for inspection at a customs facility after being unloaded, where inspectors discovered the toys along with bulbs and soles for military boots.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said in a statement that the toys were “on their way to the Palestinian Authority with one clear intention, to poison the minds of innocent young children.”
“The Palestinians continue to indoctrinate their children, continue to educate them in hatred and violence, using all possible means, including, as in this case, children’s dolls,” she said in a statement.
According to Israeli media, the shipment was being held at the port until the conclusion of an investigation into this matter.
“The customs authority continues its daily work in preventing smuggling, with a focus on smuggling weapons and preventing the infiltration of inciting material, especially at this time,” said Kobi Yahav, the director of customs at Haifa port.
Israeli officials have frequently asserted that a recent wave of almost daily Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis has been prompted by incitement in social and traditional media.
Rumors that Israel plans to change the status quo on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem has particularly triggered outrage among Palestinians, which in turn has led to violent riots at the Temple Mount, which is a holy site for both Jews and Muslims. Israel has denied that it has any plans to modify arrangements at the Temple Mount, where Jews are allowed to visit but not to pray.
In addition to the stabbings, car-rammings, and shootings, there have been many incidents of Palestinians throwing rocks at Israeli cars in the West Bank and attacking Jerusalem’s light rail as it passes through East Jerusalem neighborhoods.