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August 29, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10166

At PLO-Sponsored Summer Camps In Palestinian Authority: Glorification Of Terrorists, Palestine From River To Sea

August 29, 2022
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 10166

Like in previous years, the PLO's Higher Council for Youth and Sports organized summer camps  for children and teens in the Palestinian Authority (PA) territories. The 600 camps, whose theme this year was "Al-Masra wal-Asra," i.e., "the place of Al-Isra (Al-Aqsa)[1] and the prisoners," were held in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and were attended by some 42,000 boys and girls. Among the PA bodies involved in the summer camp program were the ministries of education and of culture, and local municipalities.[2]   

At the camps' joint opening ceremony in the town of Silwad near Ramallah, Jibril Rajoub, head of the Higher Council for Youth and Sports and secretary-general of Fatah's Central Committee, said: "Here in Silwad, the town of prisoners and martyrs, we announce the opening of the 2022 summer camps, titled 'Al-Masra wal-Asra.' This creative model expresses the aspirations and values of all Palestinians… The summer camps seek to be a melting pot that shapes the children's awareness on the basis of the national Palestinian doctrine…" The chair of the Prisoners Club, Qadoura Fares, said at the opening ceremony: "The [summer camp] program strengthens our children in knowledge and imbues them with love for the homeland."[3]

The recreational and entertainment activities at the camps were accompanied by indoctrination instilling extremist values such as reverence for terrorists serving life sentences for murder; glorification of martyrdom and death, and the ideal of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, which denies the existence of Israel.   

This report presents some of the content taught at the PLO-sponsored summer camps as reflected on the camps' social media pages, especially the Facebook page of the PLO's Higher Council for Youth and Sports.

Glorification Of Terrorists

The camps, whose theme, as stated, was "The Place of Isra and the Prisoners," dealt extensively with imprisoned Palestinian terrorists. Special attention was devoted to the six terrorists who escaped in September 2021 from an Israeli prison through a tunnel they dug using improvised tools. The six are Zakaria Al-Zubeidi, who was the commander of Fatah's military wing in Jenin during the Second Intifada and was responsible for the recruitment of suicide bombers and the planning of terrorist attacks, including the November 2002 attack in Beit Shean, in which six civilians were killed;[4] Mahmoud 'Abdallah 'Arida, a prominent leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the Israeli prisons, who led the escape plan and is serving a life sentence plus 15 years for membership in the PIJ and  involvement in terror operations that led to the death of police officer Meir Aloush; Muhammad Qassem 'Arida, who is serving three life sentences plus 20 years for murder and for membership in a terror organization, who was involved in a 2001 suicide bombing on a bus in which three Israeli civilians were killed;[5] Ya'qoub Qadiri, a PIJ operative who is serving two life sentences plus 35 years for the murder of Israelis,[6] membership in a terror organization and involvement in additional terror operations; Eham Kamamji, a PIJ operative who is serving a life sentence for involvement in the abduction and murder of an Israeli, Eliyahu Oshri, and Munadil Nafayat, detained since 2019 for involvement in arms trade.

The participants of the summer camps learned about the lives and activity of the six terrorists, decorated their photos, and portraits of them were hung at many of the camps, as shown in the photos below:


Decorated photos of the six prisoners prepared by children at one of the camps  (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 2, 2022)


Closing ceremony of Rafah and Gaza camps: A boy holds a picture of the six prisoners, and others hold spoons, alluding to the improvised tools used by the six to dig their escape tunnel (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 4, 2022)


Children at a Gaza camp hold heart-shaped signs bearing the names of the six prisoners (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 5, 2022)


Girls at one of the camps put together a puzzle: a picture of Zakaria Al-Zubeidi (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 1, 2022)


Campers in Bethlehem hold up signs with photos of the prisoners and details about them: their age, where they come from, and the year of their imprisonment   (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 18, 2022)


Closing ceremony of Bethlehem camps: children perform in front of a poster of the six prisoners (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 4, 2022)

The activities at the camp also commemorated and dealt with the activity of other terrorists, including Dalal Al-Mughrabi, the deputy-commander of the 1978 Coastal Road attack, in which 35 Israeli civilians, including children, were killed, and Karim Younis, who is serving a 40-year sentence for involvement in the kidnapping and murder of an Israeli soldier, Avraham Bromberg, in 1980.[7]


Girls at Hebron camp assemble a puzzle: the portrait of Dalal Al-Mughrabi  (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 1, 2022)


Campers in Tulkarm march with posters they made of imprisoned Palestinian terrorists, including Karim Younis and Israa Ja'abis, who is serving an 11-year sentence for perpetrating a terror operation in 2016 (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 29, 2022)


At camp in Gaza, posters of two terrorists: 'Ali Hassan Salameh, one of the leaders of Fatah's Black September organization, which was responsible, among other attacks, for the 1972 massacre of the 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, and Hassan Salameh, a leader of Hamas' military wing, who is serving a 46-year sentence for involvement in the planning of suicide attacks in 1996 in which dozens of Israeli civilians were killed (Facebook.com/106562321916895, July 28, 2022; facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007977992655, July 24, 2022)


The summer camp in the Kubar refugee camp near Ramallah was named after Marwan Al-Barghouti, who grew up in the camp, and who is serving five life sentences plus 40 years for his involvement in multiple terror operations in the Second Intifada, during which he was the head of Fatah's military wing  (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 1, 2022)


Fadwa Al-Barghouti, the wife of Marwan Al-Barghouti and a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, speaks at the closing ceremony of the camp named after her husband (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 1, 2022)

Plays About Terror And Martyrdom

Participants of the drama classes in some of the camps staged plays that included  clashing with Israeli soldiers, and the death and funerals of martyrs. Children at the Yabous camp in Jerusalem, for example, performed a play in which a Palestinian who throws stones at soldiers is killed and his body is wrapped in a Palestinian flag (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 2, 2022)


Play about the death of a martyr at the closing ceremony of the Rafah and Gaza camps (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 4, 2022)


Funeral in a play at a Qalqilya camp (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 28, 2022)

Palestine From The River To The Sea

Many of the activities at the camps involved the concept of Palestine from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean sea, which denies the existence of Israel, as part of instilling the narrative of the Palestinians' right of return to their homes inside Israel.


Girl at Gaza summer camp with map of "the cities of our beloved Palestine," which include Acre, Tiberias, Beit Shean, Jaffa, Ramla and Beersheba (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 3, 2022)


Activity about "the names of the cities of Palestine," including Acre, Haifa, Safed, Jaffa, Nazareth, Beersheba and Lod (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, August 1, 2022)


Girls present map of "Palestine from the Sea to the River" (Facebook.com/alttanmawia, July 28, 2022)


Girl at Khan Younis camp holds a map of Palestine from the River to the Sea, with the Arabic text "Long live the Arab and free Palestine" and the English text "Free Palestine" (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 28, 2022)


Campers with maps of Palestine from the River to the Sea (Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 28, 2022, August 1, 2022, August 3, 2022)

 

[1] In Islam, Al-Isra is the Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey from Mecca to the "Farthest Mosque" in Jerusalem, i.e., Al-Aqsa, from which the Prophet then ascended to heaven (Al-Mi'raj).

[2] Wafa.ps, July 18, 2022.

[3] Wafa.ps, July 18, 2022.

[4] The six victims were David Peretz, Haim Amar, Shaul Zilberstein, Ehud Avitan, Mordechai Avraham and Ya'acov Lary.

[5] The victims were Inbal Weiss, Yehiav Elshad and Samuel Miloshvitzky

[6] Qadiri was convicted of involvement in the killing of civilian Yosef Ajami near Mevo Dotan and police officer Moshe Hezkiyah in Umm Al-Fahem.

[7]  Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 29, 2022.

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