In Brief: Gaza radicalisation and indoctrination youth camps begin again

Children at PIJ summer camp in Khan Younis > SAID KHATIB / AFP, via Times of Israel

Terror groups in the Gaza Strip have begun operating summer camps for Palestinian youths again, including military-style training in preparation to fight against Israel.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad camps require young Palestinians to parade and train with fake rifles, alongside instructions on jihad against the “Zionist enemy”.

In previous years, children were taught to stab and stone Israeli police in order “to liberate Al-Aqsa”, while instructors celebrated those who fell as “martyrs” against the enemy.

“These boys are trained in various ways to defend their rights in their territory and homeland”, PIJ official Darwish al-Gharabli said.

“Hundreds have participated in the camps of the al-Quds Brigades, the camps of glory and pride, ensuring that jihad and resistance will continue”.

The camps, which operate annually, represent a common form of indoctrination among Palestinian groups both in Gaza and the West Bank.

Incitement to terrorism and hatred against Israelis has been a persistent problem in the Palestinian education system, as was confirmed by a June 2021 report funded by the EU.

The report by the Georg Eckert Institute found that textbooks used in the Palestinian Authority’s education system promoted the glorification of terrorism and martyrdom, violence, antisemitism and hate.

Summer camps run by the PA likewise commonly glorify terrorism, including camps and schools named after terrorists.