Summer Camps For The Next Generation Of Terrorists
By PNW StaffJuly 25, 2019
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No one is born a terrorist or a jihadist fighter, it must be learned, and Hamas understands this all too well. Hamas recently announced the opening of its annual summer training camp for children that attracts an average of 100,000 children and teenagers each year.
The month-long terrorist training camps, each of which runs for about a week, are funded and organized by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and formerly the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This year's theme will be the Great March of Return, according to promotional information published by Hamas.
The slogan for this year's summer camps is "I am returning to my homeland" and the central purpose is to indoctrinate Palestinian youths with the "concept of return" as well as provide them with the tools to continue their attacks on Israel into the next generation.
Photos posted in promotional material on the camps' Facebook page show maps labeled with the pre-1948 names for cities now inside Israel. Children sit in rapt attention as they are taught that they have an ancestral right to return to Israel as a conquering force.
Open to both girls and boys, each camp is an intensive week of indoctrination in religious jihadist ideology centered on the destruction of Israel and sessions of military training in guerilla warfare and urban combat tactics. In addition to previous years' lessons in using assault weapons, abducting civilians, setting IED's and attacking IDF positions to take hostages, this year the campers will take part in activities inspired by the Great March of Return.
They will launch balloons with the names of the towns and cities within Israel, recalling the image of the arson kites now being used by terrorists to set fire to Israeli houses and fields. They will collect tires, mimicking the burning tires that were used to cover the assaults on the border fence with their acrid smoke. They will drill with stone-throwing to imitate the stones and Molotov cocktails thrown at IDF soldiers.
There will also be ceremonies celebrating the shahids, Palestinians wounded rushing the fence, and lessons on their ancestral right to return to occupy cities such as Tel Aviv, all marked on maps with their Palestinian rather than Israeli name.
Facebook photos used to promote the camps show classes of children happily firing rifles, conducting mock kidnappings and executions, and storming Israeli army posts. In one image, boys practice pinning one another to the ground as they put guns to the back of their captive campers' heads.
In another set of photos, they drill with dummy AK-47 rifles in small-squad urban warfare tactics. Not all the weapons are fake though and training is also given in rubber sling shots and the more ancient slings still capable, in trained hands, of hurling a steel ball like a bullet.
During the week-long camps, the campers are taken to visit the encampments near the fence and even visit the border fence itself. Between classes in Islamist ideology and drilling in small arms tactics, Palestinians between the ages of 10 and 17 are being immersed in a world where Israelis are their enemy and they have the right to "return" to Israeli cities, no matter the cost.
Nationalism, religion and military ethos merge for these young, impressionable minds in a deadly combination that is creating the next generation of Palestinian ultra-nationalist jihadists. The Great March of Return camps may last only a few months, but the effects will be felt for decades to come.