August 1, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10107

Hamas' 'Saplings Of Jerusalem' Summer Camps In Gaza Offer Weapons Training To Prepare Kids For Liberating Palestine

August 1, 2022
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 10107

As in previous years,[1] this year too the Hamas movement in Gaza is operating summer camps for children and teens that inculcate an extremist ideology championing jihad and armed struggle against Israel, and also provide the campers with practical training in weapon use and other military skills. This year's 500 summer camps, launched on July 23, are called "Saplings of Jerusalem," and are attended by about 100,000 boys and girls of various ages. Their main opening ceremony was held at the Asda amusement park, built at the site of a former Israeli settlement. Muhammad Farawneh, a member of the camps' central committee, said at the ceremony that holding it at that spot, "on soil that has been freed of the contamination of the occupation, is a sign that all of the [Palestinian] land will one day be regained."[2] The chair of the summer camp committee in Gaza's central district, Muhammad Abu Mahmoud, said at the opening ceremony in his district that the name "Saplings of Jerusalem" was chosen "to stress our deep-rooted rights in Jerusalem, and [convey] that the generation of liberation will continue to bear the banner until the occupation is removed from all of our occupied Palestinian land."[3]

A Hamas delegation visiting one of the camps in southern Gaza, which included senior official Maher Sabra, as well as the chair of the supreme committee of the movement's summer camps, Muhammad Abu 'Askar, conveyed that the camps "are intended to raise a generation that possesses awareness and is capable of liberating [Palestine]." Addressing the campers, a delegation member said: "Oh lion cubs, you are the generation of liberation, and with your help we will liberate Al-Aqsa, Allah willing."[4]

As in the past, this year's summer camps place emphasis on military and weapons training, as well as on religious and nationalist content, alongside recreational activities. The campers are given lessons on the use and maintenance of various weapons, and also use shooting simulators to practice targeting "Israeli soldiers."

Logo of the summer camps (Source:, June 30, 2022)

This report presents photos of the indoctrination activities and military training at the Hamas summer camps, posted on the summer camps' Facebook account.[5]

Young boys hear a lesson about weapons in a camp in Jebalia

Learning to handle rifles

Learning to assemble and disassemble a rifle[6]

Weapons training at summer camp in northern Gaza Strip; Among the spectators is Hamas official Mushir Al-Masri

Teen trains with rifle; Behind him is Hamas Official Maher Sabra

"Shooting soldiers" on a simulator

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