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Peace Is Not at Hand: Hamas Training Youth for Violence


A new generation of Palestinian boys aged 15 to 17 will learn how to use Kalashnikovs and throw hand grenades to fight “the occupation” at a weekly youth program run by Hamas that will seek to train 37,000 boys in “resistance.” (An optional two week camp in which Palestinian youth are trained by militants in Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades is already underway.) The state militancy programs come at the expense of sports (“on the grounds that there is not enough time”.) Apparently it comes at the expense of geography and current events classes too. Last time we looked, Israeli forces weren’t occupying Gaza. The Telegraph reports on this sad story:

Izzadine Mohamed, 17, was among the students who attended the weekly school classes, which covered first aid, basic fire fighting skills and how to fire a Kalashnikov rifle. He was also one of 5,000 boys across Gaza who also signed up for an optional two-week camp held at a Hamas military base.

“I was excited to learn the right way to use a weapon,” said Mr Mohamed. “It’s important because of the occupation. I feel stronger and more confident with the knowledge, which I could use against the occupier.”

Everything in Gaza operates under Hamas control, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has the ability to open the Gaza frontier anytime it wants. But Palestinian radicals still need to instill a toxic and all-consuming culture of hatred and victimization, or risk losing their power…and their funding.

Barring a genuine national awakening by a generation of Palestinians sick and tired of being used as pawns by a self-interested leadership that benefits from hatred and violence, we don’t see much hope for change.

It took a hundred years to build a mess this ugly, and it won’t be fixed any time soon.

[Image of child with posters of Hamas leaders courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • raybury

    As usual with Hamas, the “occupation” they wish to eliminate is the one between Gaza and the “green line” with the West Bank, including such historically Palestinian Arab Muslim cities as Tel Aviv. This is why I insist there cannot be a single Palestinian state; adding two votes instead of one in the UN is a small cost to take focus away from the inevitable complaints about Israel cutting a single, Gaza + WB Palestine in two.

  • skhpcola

    They can procure ammunition to allow teenagers to puff up their self-esteem and inculcate hatred, but I can’t find any unless I’m willing to pay 3x what it cost last year? Hope and Change, baby!

  • BrianFrankie

    “Apparently it comes at the expense of geography and current events classes too. Last time we looked, Israeli forces weren’t occupying Gaza.”

    This is as outstandingly witless a line in as naive a post as I have ever read from Via Meadia. The issue here is very much more with VM than Hamas. The Islamic Resistance Movement has been absolutely consistent with their message, which is written in their charter, repeated ad infinitum by their spokesmen, taught in their schools, and fervently believed by their cadre. The occupation they refer to is Palestine, stretching from the Lebanese border to the Gulf of Aqaba, and from the Jordan River to the Med.

    Via Meadia is the one not familiar with geography and not listening to the participants in the conflict if you seriously believe what you are writing. You insist on filtering the actions and statements of Hamas through your Western perspective, and completely miss what is being said. Until you, and similar well-meaning (I hope, although it is often hard to tell) policy makers, actually get your minds around the issues, there is little hope for progress, or even for understanding the response of the Israelis to the actions of Hamas. Israel certainly has no illusions about the goals of Hamas.

  • USNK2

    Don’t worry Mr. Mead. You have plenty of time. After political Islam kills the Saturday people, then they will kill the Sunday people in preparation for killing all the real heretics (think Bamiyan Buddhas and Bollywood to quantify that death toll).
    A belief system that thinks Adam was the first Muslim makes for interesting textbooks and maps.

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