In two of the West Bank’s major cities, Palestinians woke up Sunday morning to a strange surprise: hundreds of lollipops filled the streets, courtesy of the Israeli army.
The lollipops, distributed throughout Nablus and Ramallah, contained notes saying, “Ramadan Kareem. Here are some sweets because Hamas is making life bitter in the West Bank.”
An Israel Defense Forces officer told Haaretz he had no knowledge of the event. But Palestinian witnesses in Nablus told Ma’an News Agency that they saw Israeli soldiers throwing the lollipops in the streets.
Some onlookers believe that the candy distribution is a “psychological warfare” tactic meant to incite Palestinians against Hamas. Others say this “strange behavior” shows that the IDF is failing to find the three missing Israeli teenagers, whom it believes to be held captive by Hamas, and is scrambling for new sources of information in the West Bank.
The lollipops are not the first Israeli-distributed “gift” to hit the area in recent days. After a military raid in Nablus on Thursday, Palestinians found matchboxes bearing the slogan “Warning, Hamas is setting the West Bank alight.”
Residents of Anbata said they discovered the same products after the IDF conducted searches in and around the village.
The matchboxes list the name of a manufacturer, Swedish company Swedish Match, and an importer, Nur Ltd.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office declined to comment.
This story "Israel Drops Anti-Hamas Lollipops on West Bank — Just in Time for Ramadan" was written by Sigal Samuel.
Sigal Samuel is the former Opinion Editor at the Forward. When she’s not tackling race or identity politics, she’s hunting down her Indian Jewish family’s Kabbalistic secret society. Her novel THE MYSTICS OF MILE END tells the story of a dysfunctional family with a dangerous mystical obsession. Her writing has also appeared in The Daily Beast, The Rumpus, and BuzzFeed. Follow Sigal on Twitter.