Thousands of Gazan high school students recently graduated from a training program run by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which prepares teenagers to participate in urban warfare.
“This program is held in schools throughout Gaza and is supervised by the national security forces,” a Hamas spokesman said in a video translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute and posted online earlier this week.
“We focus on, first of foremost, on education and moral values, and then on the military aspect,” he added. “The students attend lectures on education and security. They are given intensive instruction about evacuation and urban warfare. As part of their military training the students use all types of military equipment. They receive training in commando and urban warfare, as well as in the storming of places and VIP protection.”
“This message is directed exclusively to our loathsome enemy, who should realize that what was taken by force will be regained only by force,” the spokesman stressed. “Allah willing this message will be translated into action.”
Some 20,000-40,000 students attended the program, which is in its fifth consecutive year, according to its instructors.
In At Summer Camp, Hamas Raises the Next Generation of Killers, which was published in the August 2016 issue of The Tower Magazine, Riley Clafton examined the dangers of teaching Gaza’s youth to engage in terrorist attacks against Israel:
No one is born a terrorist; they are taught to become one. Worse than most people can imagine, the summer camps of Gaza turn children into soldiers and violence into a way of life. Play and personal growth activities are replaced with military training, and while children elsewhere in the world are learning new skills and knowledge, the children of Gaza are learning to dedicate their lives to a violent ideology and, for some, perpetuating an armed struggle.
Searching to explain the “intifada of the knives” in 2015 and 2016, The Wall Street Journal editorial board suggested that “the taste for violence emerges from a deep-seated culture of hate, nurtured by Palestinian leaders over many years in mosques, schools, newspapers, TV channels, and social media.” Summer camps reinforce this culture; even children’s play has become an opportunity to further the Palestinian terror groups’ causes. Campers are given terrorists to serve as role models, military training as a substitute for games, and a pre-packaged, violent ideology that destroys their innocence. While it is only one component of the culture of terror in Gaza, the summer camps give children both the ideology and the technical expertise to act on it. And that’s no way to spend a summer.
[Photo: MEMRI TV / YouTube ]