Palestinian children in Gaza attend summer camps where they receive weapons and combat training and are brainwashed into wanting to hate and kill Israelis.
While most youngsters around the world who attend summer camp enjoy nature, do sports, or engage in artistic activities, Palestinian children attending Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad summer camps who are between age 6 and 16 instead are given military training and anti-Israel indoctrination. These children are given AK-47s that are sometimes bigger than they are and are told to jump over fire or crawl under barbed wire with these weapons in order to attack a mock a war zone.
The Palestinian leadership in Gaza directly sanctions these summer camps. Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh claims that these summer camps map the road for the Palestinian right of return, and the destruction of Israel, by educating young Palestinians how to fight for the “liberation of Palestine and the Al Aqsa Mosque.” Such summer camps also provide religious instruction, encouraging Palestinian children to adopt fundamentalist rather than moderate beliefs, as illustrated by the gender-based discrimination that occurs in Hamas summer camps.
The purpose of these camps is to radicalize the next generation of Palestinian children against peaceful coexistence with the State of Israel. An Islamic Jihad camp director stated that the goal of the camp was to “raise an outstanding generation of believing [Muslims] that are well aware of their goals in the conflict with the Zionist enemy and who adhere to the honorable Koran and to the Prophet’s sunna, as [Islamic Jihad founder] Dr. Fathi Al-Shqaqi ordered us to do.” Palestinian youngsters at these camps are taught that kidnapping Israeli soldiers and engaging in warfare is one big game that they should participate in.
A model camper, 12-year-old Baraa, illustrated the adverse affect that Islamist summer camps have on the next generation. According to this 12-year-old child: “I am overjoyed to belong to Islamic Jihad… My aspiration in the future is to receive official military missions, Allah willing, and I will be an outstanding [fighter] like the honorable martyrs Muhammad Al-Sheikh halil, Mahmoud Al-Zatma, and Yasser Abu Al-‘Aish. The Zionist enemy will not be able to defeat a people that was raised upon the Koran and upon the values of] yearning for martyrdom and asceticism in this world in return for Allah’s pleasure and the attaining of Paradise. I am sure that the blood of my father was not spilled in vain. As I fire the first shot of my life, my blood boils in my veins, and I will not rest until I am on the battlefield, burning the enemy with the volcano of my vengeance.”
GAZA AUTHORITIES PROMOTE VIOLENCE
These summer camps are merely one way that the Gaza authorities are promoting terrorism instead of peace. Studies have shown that Palestinian school textbooks promote violence systematically. Al Aqsa TV, which is the mouthpiece of Hamas, routinely praises savage attacks against Israel and glorifies holy war. Palestinian terrorists have also utilized Gaza as a base of terror to wage assaults on Israel.
By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United with Israel