In an extensive expose published late last month, The Telegraph documented the extent to which Hamas is training Palestinian schoolboys to use assault-style weapons and battle Israel. The outlet documented how the Iran-backed terror group has introduced into the local curriculum military training for 37,000 Palestinian boys aged 15-17. The children are trained to attack Israeli positions and kill Israeli soldiers:
A YouTube clip showing a military demonstration in a Gaza school also appears to contradict the Hamas official line. Posted on April 5, the video shows a mock Israeli military post erected in a school playground, where Palestinian militants enact a mock battle during which a faux Israeli soldier is killed and another captured. A shoulder-held rocket launcher is then fired at the military post, the force of the blast leaving only a smoking metal frame and a billowing Israeli flag.
As if to put an exclamation point on its militarization of Gaza’s youth, Hamas’s English-language Twitter feed this afternoon tweeted a picture showing children role-playing what seems to be a military funeral. The feed declares that the children love “martydrom”:
Hamas stages military parades in which children armed with military gear march with adults. The children are as young as 7 years old. The parades are attended by top Hamas officials, who pose next to infants in military gear. Hamas officials have bragged that they train such children to attack Israelis.
The group’s use of children in combat complicates the efforts of non-governmental organizations to compile statistics on Palestinian non-combatants who die during conflicts between Hamas and the Israeli army. Anti-Israel NGO’s have been accused of treating all deaths of anyone under 18 as non-combatant deaths, despite Hamas’s extensive and documented efforts to train and deploy teenagers.