Gaza teens graduate military school

2013-01-24 21:41
A Palestinian boy holds a rifle-shaped wooden stick during a graduation ceremony for the first group of school children's military training organized by Hamas education ministry in Gaza City. (Adel Hana, AP)

A Palestinian boy holds a rifle-shaped wooden stick during a graduation ceremony for the first group of school children's military training organized by Hamas education ministry in Gaza City. (Adel Hana, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Gaza City - More than 3 000 Palestinian teenagers on Thursday graduated from the ruling Hamas militant group's first high school military training programme in the Gaza Strip, displaying mock weapons, crawling commando-style on the ground and taking up fighting positions for thousands of cheering supporters.

Hamas officials said the Futuwwa, or "Youth," programme is aimed at fostering a new generation of leaders in the struggle against Israel.

"We teach the youth to honour the national flag and anthem, to strengthen their affinity with the homeland and Jerusalem, the spirit of resistance and the principles of steadfastness," said Abu Hozifa, a 29-year-old national security officer who teaches in the programme.

"We also prepare them in terms of faith and physical fitness to serve as resistance fighters if they want to be in the future."

The programme is a weekly elective that is offered in all Gaza high schools.

Officials said 3 600 participated in the first session, which began in September.

During the one-hour session each week, students were taught to climb down buildings on ropes, jump through obstacle courses and crawl under barbed wire.

The oldest students are trained to use light weapons, while younger ones train with wooden rifles. Each participant is assigned to a security officer who oversees their training.

The first graduates, called the "Liberation Vanguards”, were dressed in black T-shirts and hats, and some painted their faces black.

"My officer taught me the values of courage, sacrifice and love of jihad, as well as some battle tactics," said Radwan Wasfi, 15, whose black-painted face dripped with sweat after going through a drill.

"I feel that I can free my energy in a good way. I can do for real what I do in video games."

Hamas' Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who attended the ceremony held at a soccer stadium, said he had ordered his education minister to establish a full-time military college to open next September.

"This is the generation that will bring victory to its people and will liberate their land," he told the audience.

Hamas, an Islamic militant group sworn to Israel's destruction, seized control of Gaza from the rival Fatah faction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007.

The group has survived repeated bouts of fighting against Israel, most recently an eight-day flare-up of heavy violence in November in which Hamas fired more than 1 500 rockets into Israel.

The fighting ended in an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire.

Repeated attempts by the rival Palestinian factions to reconcile have sputtered.

- SAPA
Read more on:    hamas  |  mahmoud abbas  |  palestine  | 
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
30 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

The basics of BASE jumping
Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Recruitment Consultant

Cape Town
Cozens Recruitment Group ( Western Cape)
R15 000 - R18 000 Per Month

Financial Accountant ( Hire Resolve)

Western Cape
Hire Resolve
R450 000 - R650 000 Per Year

SKILLED C# DEVELOPER

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Persona Staff

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be in the mood to philosophize and socialize and expand your mind on various discussions and group activities. You could...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.