You should see the weeping and gnashing of teeth that Reuters has in store for us today—Toy guns have always been "scary" to liberals here in the United States, but generally, there's no outcry or other protest when politically-protected Muslim children proffer their guns on the streets:
"Today we're playing Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters," says 12-year-old Hassan Mahdi, who deftly handles an M-16 that is almost as tall as he is.
"I'm the soldier."
The gun is plastic. But it looks frighteningly convincing in this West Bank refugee camp near the town of Hebron, where armed Palestinian militants roam and Israeli armoured cars frequently rumble through the rubbish-strewn streets.
Every year during the Muslim festival of Eid el-Fitr -- which ended earlier this week -- Palestinian parents buy plastic automatic rifles for their sons. In the weeks that follow, Israeli soldiers vs Palestinian fighters dominates playtime.
Almost every boy seems to carry a fake weapon and children reenact the shootings and arrests they witness on the streets.
It was easy to see where children get their role models this week when hundreds of Palestinians marched through Nablus firing into the air and shouting "revenge", after an Israeli raid in the West Bank city.
"Children are exposed to people carrying weapons on a regular basis. It's a daily event, just as they see someone carrying a briefcase to work," said Cairo Arafat, head of planning for children's rights in the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian child protection groups say children in the occupied territories -- who account for more than half of the population in Gaza and the West Bank -- are growing up scarred by the death and bloodshed they witness from an early age.
But even more worrying are the occasions when Israeli troops mistake children carrying toy guns for militants, and shoot them.
Meanwhile, Skafi's mother says she tries to stop other children from playing with plastic guns, for fear they may also be shot by Israeli troops.
They usually ignore her.
"All their lives, they see guns, tanks and dead bodies," she said. "This is their reality." (Additional reporting by Labib Nasir in Ramallah)