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memri
July 4, 2019 No.
8157

Palestinian Authority 2019 Summer Camps: Children Tear Up, Burn U.S. Flags, Pictures Of Trump

On July 1, 2019, the PLO's Higher Council for Youth and Sports (HCYS) announced the opening of 625 summer camps, 425 of them in the West Bank and 200 in Gaza, attended by 40,000 campers, and added that this summer's camps are held under the slogan "This Is Our Home and Jerusalem Is Ours."[1] This summer, too, alongside usual summer-camp activities the camps also offered political activities, intended to inculcate various political messages, including the importance of the Palestinian struggle and of the right of return, the centrality of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, and glorification of martyrdom.[2] The camps have names such as "'Omar Abu Laila" (after the perpetrator of a recent terrorist attack in the West Bank) and "[Palestine] from the River to the Sea," and some groups of campers are named after cities in the 1948 territories, like Haifa, Acre and Jaffa.

Special focus is placed this year on the right of return and on opposition to the U.S.-led Middle East peace plan known as the Deal of the Century, which is expected to be announced soon and which, according to certain leaks and assessments, will not include the right of return.[3] At a summer camp in the Tulkarm governorate campers even tore up and burned American flags and pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump.

HCYS chairman and Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub explained that the summer camps were "a basic component in shaping the campers' awareness of two main issues: that Palestine is our home and nothing can replace it, and the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa mosque." He also stressed that the HCYS "has shouldered and always will shoulder the task of raising an educated and aware generation, according to our national principles."[4]

This report reviews some of the activities at the camps operated by the PLO's HCYS during the first days after their launching:

Campers, Counselors Tear Up, Burn U.S. Flags, Pictures Of Trump

As part of stressing the opposition to the Deal of the Century, a counselor at a camp in the Tulkarm governorate gave the children a lecture on the deal, following which he and the children tore up, burned and stepped on U.S. flags and pictures of President Trump. The following are photos of this activity:[5]


Tearing up and burning the U.S. flag


Burning the U.S. flag


Trampling the U.S. flag and a picture of Trump

For a MEMRI TV clip of this activity at the camp, click below:

'From The River To The Sea' Camp In Tulkarm

As stated, the names of many of the camps evoke the right of return or express the Palestinians' opposition to the Deal of the Century. A camp in the Tulkarm governorate is called "Palestine Is Not for Sale," a camp in the Bethlehem area is called "We Will Return, 1948," and a camp in the Jerusalem area is called "[Palestine] From the River to the Sea." Children at the Palestine Is Not for Sale" camp are divided into groups named after "cities that remain in our memory: Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, Acre and Deir Yasin." It was also reported that the campers sang songs about "the love of the homeland and the right of return." [6]


Children at the "From the River to the Sea" camp (source: Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 3, 2019)

Camp Named In Honor Of Terrorist 'Omar Abu Laila

A camp in the Hebron area is named in honor of 'Omar Abu Laila, who shot two Israelis in an attack this March.[7]


Campers at the 'Omar Abu Laila camp (source: Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 3, 2019)

 

[1] Al-Ayyam (PA), July 2, 2019.

[4] Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 1, 2019.

[5] Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 3, 2019.

[6] Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 3, 2019.