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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/16/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Numbers more than double the figure of last year; goal is to emulate 'suicide martyrs'

Thirteen thousand boys and girls in Gaza spent a week doing all sorts of fun things - such as weapons training, first aid, self defense, marching exercises and "security awareness" classes on identifying Israeli spies. The Hamas government celebrated the graduation earlier this week at paramilitary camps geared at training high-school children "to follow in the footsteps of the suicide martyrs."

'Beware this generation,' Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said, addressing Israel. 'This is a generation which knows no fear. It is the generation of the missile, the tunnel and the suicide operations.'

"Beware this generation," Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said, addressing Israel. "This is a generation which knows no fear. It is the generation of the missile, the tunnel and the suicide operations."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/16/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Hamas, Gaza, martyr camps, Israel, teenagers


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The camps, titled "the pioneers of liberation" are run by Hamas's ministries of education and interior. Students in grades 10-12 participated in the one-week training camp. Last year, that number was only 5,000, representing more than a 100 percent increase from 2013.

Israeli sources with knowledge of the program say the program is fairly new, begun last year.

Cristo Redentor --

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Interior Minister Fathi Hammad and Education Minister Usama Mzeini attended the graduation ceremony this past Monday. Both delivered incendiary speeches on the importance of military training in developing a new generation of Palestinian combatants.

"Beware this generation," Haniyeh said, addressing Israel. "This is a generation which knows no fear. It is the generation of the missile, the tunnel and the suicide operations."

Female trainers, the Hamas prime minister added, are also on staff "to oversee the training of the young women to follow in the footsteps of the female suicide operatives."

Interior Minister Hammad said the training was in preparation for the coming war with Israel. "This generation is a sapling from God on earth. It will harvest the enemies of God and be the pride of all nations," he said.

Hamdi Shaqura, deputy director of program affairs at the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a Gaza-based watchdog, says his organization issued no statement on the training.

"To the best of my knowledge no other organization in Gaza issued a statement either," he told newspaper reporters.

The young students were vocal in their enthusiasm. Omar Dawabha, an eleventh-grader who took part in the training, was quoted on the Web site of Hamas's interior ministry saying that "he learned how to safeguard our rights and principles." Another student, Mohammed Abu Nar, addressed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem at the graduation ceremony.

"We are the pioneers of liberation, we are coming to purify you from the Zionists," he said.

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