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memri
August 26, 2019 No.
8242

Blog Post On Website Of Qatar's Al-Jazeera Network Praises Hamas Summer Camps And Its Efforts To 'Raise A Generation That Believes In The Duty Of Jihad'

In an August 4, 2019 blog post on the website of the Qatari Al-Jazeera network, Palestinian blogger Ahmad Samir Qannita praised the summer camps held by Hamas's military wing, the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades,[1] and commended Hamas for instilling the values of jihad and resistance in the Gazan youth and raising a "generation that believes in the  duty of jihad." He noted that Hamas devotes all its resources, including its official institutions, media and education system, to this goal and that the summer camps for children and teens are an example of this. He noted further that the camps offer the participants – junior high and high school students from all over the Gaza Strip –  a comprehensive military training program conducted by professional Al-Qassam fighters and "similar in its intensity to [the training] received by the Palestinian resistance fighters." The program includes the maintenance and use of machine guns and other weapons, live ammunition practice, urban warfare, and the crossing of enemy lines by means of attack tunnels.

The blogger also quoted lines from a militant poem by Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, a major ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood who lives in Qatar and is close to the Qatari regime, which urges the Arab and Muslim nation to produce arms and fighters for the sake of Islam.[2]

The following are excerpts from Qannita's blog post:[3]


2019 Hamas summer camp (source: "Tlae3Camps" Telegram channel)

"Gaza is not like it was in previous decades, when the jihad activity there was limited to small armed groups that acted in secret, [striving] to carry out high-quality operations against the Zionist occupation forces in complicated security conditions. [Such was the situation] after, in 1996, the Oslo authorities [an epithet for the Palestinian Authority] delivered harsh blows to the armed Palestinian factions, led by Hamas, and persecuted and arrested anyone leaning towards the idea of resistance. The [Palestinian] Authority's security apparatuses even established an army of informers who were tasked with spying and collecting information on young jihad fighters, so as to arrest them and incarcerate them in dungeons, to deter them from fighting the Zionist occupation...

"With the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2001, the Palestinian factions reorganized their ranks and managed to attract many young Palestinians who were yearning to fight the enemy, liberate their land and purge their holy places. The factions carried out high-quality operations that shook the foundations of the Zionist entity and shattered the myth of its [invincible] security and military apparatuses with an ongoing series of martyrdom [i.e., suicide] operations, as well as shootings and bombings... [This continued] until 2006, when Hamas achieved a landslide victory in the parliamentary elections, and Fatah, [including] its armed factions and security apparatuses, refused to accept the election outcome and hand the government over to Hamas. This led to the day of military victory in Gaza, on which Hamas and the Al-Qassam Brigades took over the entire Gaza Strip after expelling the gangs of enemy spies, the murder and abduction groups and the death squads affiliated with Fatah and its military apparatuses...

"Following these bloody events, Fatah's authorities in Ramallah launched large-scale security operations against Hamas's supporters, members and leaders and against the armed factions and jihad fighters in the occupied [West] Bank, outlawed all Hamas activity there... seized the weapons of the jihad fighters, persecuted the resistance fighters, defined jihad as a crime, banned resistance, and instilled values of humiliation and surrender – [values] that the have not stopped despite all the actions of the enemy and his servants.

"In complete contrast [to the situation in the West Bank], Gaza spent the same period laying the foundations for a new phase of the Palestinian struggle by instilling the ideal of jihad and spreading the culture of resistance [among the Gazans], at all levels and in all spheres, by means of the official government [web]sites, both civil and military, as well as the education facilities and services and even some civil society organizations, municipalities, etc. There was no choice but to found respectable security apparatuses to pursue the enemy's collaborators and spies [in order to] defend the resistance, as well as a media apparatus that would adopt the discourse of jihad and resistance, direct the public to support and cultivate the jihad fighters, and elevate their cause and their status in Palestinian society. [Hamas also] created a generation unique in its knowledge of the Quran... who believes in the duty of jihad and yearns to enter the battlefields of the heroes.

"Dr. Yousuf Al-Qaradawi was right when he wrote [in his poem 'Oh My Nation, The Struggle Has Become Obligatory']: 'There is no escape from producing men, as well as producing arms; The making of heroes is a science that was made clear in our tradition; Heroes can only be made in our mosques, in the garden of the Quran, and in the shade of the true Prophetic traditions; A people without faith is like a leaf drifting in the wind; Those who betray the call to prayer, betray as well the call to struggle.'

"Accordingly, in the recent years the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades made sure to [formulate] an intensive training program for Palestinian junior high and high school students from all parts of Gaza, called the Liberation Vanguard Camps – Marching on Jerusalem,' and opened their military camps to [the teens] during the summer vacation... The Al-Qassam [Brigades] command announced the opening of the summer camps and invited the Palestinian teens to enroll. The Brigades placed all of their capabilities, training teams and military and logistical resources at the disposal of this great jihad program. They understood that the liberation enterprise must involve the entire people and nation, not only organizations and parties...

"Tens of thousands of Palestinian children and youths, from all [political] and ideological camps, answered the Al-Qassam Brigades' call, joined the ranks of the heroes and took part in the unique training activity... For the young people are the [human] capital of the nation and the resistance, and it is on them that the enterprise of liberation and return depends.

"The teens who join the camps enjoy a varied curriculum of Islam, values and morals, civil defense, first aid, and various lectures aimed at strengthening them... spiritually, ideologically and militarily, through an intensive activity program supervised by expert and talented counselors, members of the Al-Qassam training teams. The teens receive military and scout training, similar in intensity to [the training] undergone by the Palestinian resistance fighters, [which includes] the use of various types of weapons and machine guns, practical training in urban warfare, simulated operations behind enemy lines involving attack tunnels... and an introduction to personal weapons, their assembly, maintenance and use with live ammunition. [This is aimed at] accustoming them to the use of firearms and overcoming their fear of them...

"The great demand for the camps, and the families' encouragement of their sons [to enter] the arenas of courage and fame despite the pain, siege, poverty and want, are our Palestinian nation's response to the Zionist enemy, its servants and its supporters, who want to expunge the Palestinian cause by means of the so-called Deal of the Century... It is also further proof of our people's adherence to its rights and principles, its eternal yearning to purge its holy places, and its great faith in the leadership of the resistance and in the liberation enterprise, [which will continue] until the last of the Zionist usurpers is driven out of our sacred land and the flag is Islam flies above the mosques of Jerusalem and Palestine."    

 

[2] It should be mentioned that Qatar has directly funded Hamas schools in Gaza, which likewise provide pupils with military training. See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1428, For Years, Qatar Funded Hamas Schools In Gaza Where Children Receive Weapons Training, December 19, 2018.

[3] Blogs.aljazeera.net, August 4, 2019.