News24

Gaza teens graduate military school

2013-01-24 21:41

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.

Comments
  • hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-24 23:30

    Such a pity. Giving up Gaza was supposed to be the platform for the peace process. All Israel's got back in return is a swamp of terrorism, hatred and rockets. This circumstance will forever be the hurdle for Israel giving up more land.

  • gary.landman - 2013-01-25 00:48

    Where are you Fiddle.Uncensored. Does this not fit your rhetoric?

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-25 01:45

      Your continued persistence in arguing with a straw man is worrying. You really are a fine exponent of total bollocks. I salute you!

  • doberman.love.1 - 2013-01-25 07:11

    In Israeli schools, children are taught to respect Palestinians and empathize with their plight. And, Israeli children are taught that the pursuit of peace is the highest calling. But, in Palestinian schools, rather than using schools to promote peace with their Jewish neighbors, Palestinians have persistently indoctrinated their children with anti-Semitic stereotypes, anti-Israel propaganda, and material that is designed more to promote hostility and intolerance than co-existence and understanding. Until the Palestinians end this Culture of Hate, there will be no chance for a truly effective, permanent peace.

      doberman.love.1 - 2013-01-25 07:16

      This weekly Hamas TV programme episode teaches murder and hatred of Jews to Palestinian children using a clone of Disney's Mickey Mouse. Hamas has been indoctrinating children for years. The phenomena is analagous to the quasi religious philosophy of the hitler youth in Germany prior to world war two. Though lacking in sophistication its destructive moral impact on young children in Gaza is faily obvious. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1lMKX-Le1I

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-25 07:22

      From early childhood on, Israeli youth are also trained mentally and physically for war. For instance, Israel has its equivalent of Hitler's youth group. It is the Gadna; and all high school and junior high students are required to participate — boys and girls. Like Hitler's youth group, the youth in Israel's Gadna are dressed in khaki uniforms. They take training and engage in paramilitary exercises. Even at play, guns and thoughts of war are present. When on a picnic, instead of taking along baseball or soccer equipment, they take sub-machine guns and assault rifles and practice shooting and playing military games.

      bongani.khumalo.967422 - 2013-01-25 07:31

      fidel has clearly never been to israel. her racist, antsemitic and ill informed views should have no place on a website like this. Hitler youth?? do me a favour

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-25 08:08

      Fidel...you would swear people are so stupid they can't google. The gadna is a one week programme that prepares Israeli civilians for their compulsory military service. It's got nothing to do with the Hitler youth and even less to do with dressing your kids up in paramilitary wear and false suicide bomber kits. You are a purveyor of disinformation and should clearly state whether you are spreading hate or quoting fact.

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-25 08:10

      Fidel. Instead of creating new facts...pls explain why the people of Gaza turned it into a terrorist pit instead of a beacon of home for its citizens. Pls also explain why Gaza elections have not been held even though the Hamas mandate expired in 2010.

      dominic.goller.9 - 2013-01-25 08:20

      @fidel. true facts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadna_%28Israel%29 you seem to love to trash israel . just shows you are trash yourself.

      doberman.love.1 - 2013-01-25 08:26

      Boy scouts of Israel are not racist... what are you talking about! Because both use/d khaki uniforms? Are you for real? Fidel, I am saddened that we share the same air, country, continent, earth.... you are nothing but a vile racist whose true colours are evident when you refrain from copy-past.

      tommy.jones.754918 - 2013-01-25 08:35

      fidel, so blinded by her hatred, see can't comprehend the facts. Not surprising or unique, we have a lot of that here in SA.

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-25 08:56

      @Hilton So is the youth training conducted in Gaza, or are Gazans not allowed to learn how to defend themselves. "The programme is a weekly elective that is offered in all Gaza high schools." If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's a duck!

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-25 09:04

      I am a fervent anti-(Zionist), to be anything else would be inappropriate, even inhuman. In the deluded Zionist mind the world was always anti-Jew!

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-25 10:15

      Fidel. Nice try...lesson number 2. Haniyeh "inaugural Gaza military school will prepare kids as young as 12 to establish a Palestinian State from the river to the sea". That's the elimination of the whole of Israel. I personally challenge you to find any initiative in the Israeli Army that teaches the destruction of all the Palestinians. Haniyeh "children in grades 7-9 could join the school and graduate with a diploma". Does that sound like a one week programme to you??? Fidel...the truth will set you free. GOOGLE IT.

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-25 10:18

      Fidel...I think you very confused so to clear up the matter I want to ask you a question. Hamas and Fatah preach the destruction of Israel in its entirety...do you agree....YES or NO???

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-25 10:55

      "Fidel. Nice try...lesson number 2. Haniyeh "inaugural Gaza military school will prepare kids as young as 12 to establish a Palestinian State from the river to the sea". It is not different to Zionist calls for the establishment of Eretz Israel, "Stretching from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates”. Belligerence seems to be good business, and both sides seemingly cannot get enough of it. "Hamas and Fatah preach the destruction of Israel in its entirety...do you agree....YES or NO???" Those are political statements (Kill the Boer) and the Palestinians have accepted that Israel isn't going anywhere, isn't it time that Israel accepted that neither are the Palestinians? Dominic, you do not agree with my views and neither do I with yours, and that causes me absolutely no pain!

      dominic.goller.9 - 2013-01-25 11:13

      @fidel. i do sometimes agree in part of what you say, i just dont agree when you distort the facts. before you say it, i am not jewish but i do live in israel. i dont always agree with israeli government policy. i do put my opinion across to israeli's here as i do to non israelis living in the west bank. the difference between me and you is that i see daily what goes on here first hand and not by reading the news on the internet.

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-25 11:44

      I did not distort any facts, I used hyperbole, a figure of speech! "If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack." ~ Winston Churchill

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-25 11:45

      Fidel. Master of deception. I didn't ask you to quote zionists, I asked you for a quote from the IDF or Official Israeli Government to match the call from the prime minister of Gaza, who again called for the destruction of Israel. The truth will set you free or are the facts not important to you.

      gary.landman - 2013-01-25 16:21

      Ok Fiddle, I am speechless, you have truly excelled yourself here... By the way The Hitler youth thing smacks of Hate Speech, and we would not want that would we?

      gary.landman - 2013-01-25 16:29

      And by the way, I think that the Hitler Youth were cub-scouts compared to the Palstinian youth. Also remember that the USA that you so denigrate were the reason that the Hitler youth no longer exist. Can't have it all your own way now. Do you know that the palestinians are fully accepted by the Isreali's, they have freedom of movement, work, religion and residence in Isreal, and even serve in the government and courts. I have been to Isreal many times, It is funny that at the border of Isreal the desert stops and a lush paradise begins. If the palestinians take over, then the state of Isreal will again be a squalid dustbowl, of no use to any of their neighbors or themselves. Once again a "take from the rich to give to the lazy" scenario, mixed in with crazy death threats and cowardly bombings. Those 72 virgins must be really worn out by now.

  • bongani.khumalo.967422 - 2013-01-25 07:29

    how can anyone make peace with people like this? these palestinians need to start to teach their children peace, tolerance and respect for humanity rather than turning them into barbaric jihadist animals bent on destruction of western civilisation

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-25 09:00

      Palestinians don't want to destroy western civilisation, but like all resistance movements, they conscientise their young about their struggles!

      gary.landman - 2013-01-25 16:32

      no...about their jealousy , the fact that everything they touch comes out like dung whereas the Isrealis have a paradise on earth of their own making really makes the palestinians mad as hell.

      jeremy.bard.31 - 2013-01-25 19:50

      The alias doesn't suit you Bongs. Try another.

  • scholesss - 2013-01-25 09:19

    time wasted on military schooling, better to give them ideas on building a. new peaceful palestnine with democracy....free government.. planning the destruction, of jerusalem is wsteful since it wont likely happen

      Xenswim1 - 2013-01-25 12:47

      What I find disturbing is that people are side tracked by inane statemnts loosing sight of the real fact the Kids are being trained to kill. Anyone in my age group will remember that the army started at school level and the brain washing from day one in the forces. To what end? Nothing except death and being used as cannon fodder by those who have never stared death in the face. Those that in truth have no concious using impressionable youngsters to hold onto power.

      scholesss - 2013-01-25 14:20

      thus very true....when children are taught to kill definately it means future is not good any whre

      duncan.gill1 - 2013-01-25 16:06

      The attitude of Palestinian children has been forced upon them by Israel's tactics to imprison subdue and suffocate the West Bank and Gaza!Israel does all this because it is supported by the US and can do no wrong in it's eyes.No country in the world has done what Israel has done without feeling the wrath and condemnation of the US!Israel has never wanted to find peace with the Palestinians and Hamas is a result of this policy,you only reap what you sow!

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