In attempting to predict the future of relations between societies in conflict, a particularly telling aspect is the education of the younger generation. Hence, the education system of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is of great importance, including summer camps attended by children and teens.
A look at the content imparted in these summer camps indeed reveals troubling facts, such as glorification of terrorists. In 1978 a group of PLO terrorists, led by a young woman named Dallal Al-Mughrabi, hijacked a bus on Israel’s coastal road. Al-Mughrabi, who was killed in the course of the operation, became a Palestinian heroine, and PLO leader Yassir Arafat frequently praised her and her actions. In May 1995, for example, he said in Gaza: "Dallal Al-Mughrabi, the commander, the star, one of the heroes that carried out the landing on the beach. She was the commander of the group that established the first Palestinian republic on a bus […] the woman we are proud of and boast about." Thirty-four Israeli civilians, including nine children, were killed in that bus republic.
Many years have passed since then, but Al-Mughrabi still features in speeches by PA officials. Moreover, this summer, like in previous ones, she and other terrorists were presented as heroes to children in the PA summer camps, attended by 65,000 youngsters. Another inflammatory motif of this indoctrination is the notion that Palestine stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, thus denying Israel’s existence. In order to grant them practical skills, the youngsters in some camps also practiced military tactics of urban warfare and held military drills wearing combat vests.
MEMRI has been following these camps, and the extremist indoctrination that occurs in them, for several years. Below are links to MEMRI reports that document this tradition of incitement through numerous examples, and show that the education imparted by the PA and UNRWA does nothing to lay the foundation for reconciliation and peace with the State of Israel. In fact, it consistently encourages the opposite, inciting the youth to negating the very existence of Israel and encouraging extremism and terrorism against Israeli citizens.
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Below are links to MEMRI reports on PA summer camps in the last few years:
Special Dispatch No. 10737 - PLO Summer Camps – Part I : Praise And Glorification Of Terrorists – August 3, 2023
Special Dispatch No. 10754 – At Fatah Youth Summer Camp in Salfit, Held In Coordination With PA Security Forces, Children Receive Firearms Training, Visit Graves of Terrorists – August 16, 2023
MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10166 – At PLO-Sponsored Summer Camps In Palestinian Authority: Glorification Of Terrorists, Palestine From River To Sea – August 30, 2022
MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8157 – Palestinian Authority 2019 Summer Camps: Children Tear Up, Burn U.S. Flags, Pictures Of Trump – July 4, 2019
MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1334 – 2017 Summer Camps In The Palestinian Authority – Part I: Military Training, Glorification Of 'Martyrs' In Camps Run By Higher Council For Youth And Sports Headed By Jibril Rajoub – August 29, 2017