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Hamas’ ‘Saplings Of Jerusalem’ Summer Camps In Gaza Offer Weapons Training To Prepare Kids For Liberating Palestine

As in previous years,[1] this year too the Hamas movement in Gaza is operating summer camps for children and teens that inculcate an extremist ideology championing jihad and armed struggle against Israel, and also provide the campers with practical training in weapon use and other military skills. This year’s 500 summer camps, launched on July 23, are called “Saplings of Jerusalem,” and are attended by about 100,000 boys and girls of various ages. Their main opening ceremony was held at the Asda amusement park, built at the site of a former Israeli settlement. Muhammad Farawneh, a member of the camps’ central committee, said at the ceremony that holding it at that spot, “on soil that has been freed of the contamination of the occupation, is a sign that all of the [Palestinian] land will one day be regained.”[2] The chair of the summer camp committee in Gaza’s central district, Muhammad Abu Mahmoud, said at the opening ceremony in his district that the name “Saplings of Jerusalem” was chosen “to stress our deep-rooted rights in Jerusalem, and [convey] that the generation of liberation will continue to bear the banner until the occupation is removed from all of our occupied Palestinian land.”[3]

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