Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fostering the Next Generation of Terrorists

From the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, August 16, 2009:

Hamas summer camps in the Gaza Strip integrate social activities with political and Islamic indoctrination and semi-military training. The camps’ goal is to foster the next generation of Hamas terrorist operatives.

A general description of the Hamas summer camps
1. During the summer of 2009 Hamas opened, as usual, its summer camps for children and adolescents throughout the Gaza Strip with the slogan “Victory for Gaza, glory for Jerusalem.” ...
2. Hamas considers the camps an important tool for inculcating the younger generation with its ideology and for fostering the next generation of terrorist operatives. ...

3. According to the Palestinian and Arab media, Hamas ran 700 camps this summer throughout the Gaza Strip which were attended by 100,000 Palestinian youths (from elementary school pupils to university students)...

Indoctrination at Hamas summer camps
4. ...the youth undergo an intensive process of political and Islamic indoctrination ...implemented by the instructors and senior Hamas figures visiting the camps.

5. ... the objective of the camps is to prepare the children to take the leadership of the path of “victory and liberation” upon themselves. Talkbacks on Hamas-affiliated sites responded by saying they hoped the camps would produce “soldiers for Jerusalem and Gaza.”

6. The following are examples of the methods of indoctrination employed in the camps:

i) ...posters with Hamas slogans were hung throughout the camps and imprinted on the caps and shirts distributed at them. In addition, slogans were shouted during sports training. They were also repeated in lectures given by senior Hamas figures who visited the camps ...

ii) Hamas shaheeds [martyrs], some of them killed in terrorist attacks, are turned into role models for Gazan youth ...In addition, youth take part in Hamas propaganda exercises, for example, in demonstrations against the so-called “Israeli siege” or at the Rafah crossing to demand the release of Ayman Nawfal, a senior Hamas terrorist operative detained by Egypt.

iii) The official website of the central committee for the summer camps noted that the objective of the camps was to reinforce the bond between youth and Islam [radical Islam with Hamas' political interpretation]. According to the site, there was a need“ for the life of a soldier in the service of Islam,” as well as a need for identifying“ a group of outstanding students who would be able to preach for Allah and Islam in the main mosques and schools, and to maintain contacts with them after the camp [ended].” ...

iv) Terminology: Hamas activists related to the theme chosen for the camps: “ Victory for Gaza , glory for Jerusalem.” They said it expressed the Gaza Strip's “victory” in Operation Cast Lead, which was “the first step toward liberating Jerusalem and all Palestine .” They said the name was meant to indoctrinate the children with the status of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa as places in need of “liberation.” In addition, the camps were also named after Hamas shaheeds or names of places in Jerusalem, such as “the Dome of the Rock,” “ Jerusalem Road,” “the defenders of Jerusalem,” or names of topics on Hamas' current political agenda, such as “the camp for breaking the siege.”

Semi-military training in the summer camps
7. In previous years participants in summer camps run by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations underwent semi-military training. Apparently Hamas is trying to keep a low profile regarding those activities, but nevertheless, this year as well, news agencies operating in the Gaza Strip published photographs of youths undergoing training. ...
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