Every year, summer camps are held for the Palestinian children in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The camps are sponsored by the Higher Council for Youth and Sports, which is subordinate to the PLO and headed by Jibril Rajoub, who is also secretary-general of Fatah's Central Committee.
This year, the approximately 650 summer camps were attended by about 65,000 girls and boys. The name for the camps this year was "Luminaries Not Numbers," with the aim of raising the children's awareness about terrorists who have perpetrated attacks against Israelis and whose bodies have not been returned to the Palestinian Authority (PA) but are buried in specially designated Israeli cemeteries.
Camp activities included glorification of these terrorists, as luminaries whose examples should be followed. The children learned about them, were photographed holding pictures of them, and decorated the camps with posters bearing the terrorists' names and photos. In some of the camps, the children were divided into groups named for the terrorists. Also at the camps were activities glorifying terrorists currently imprisoned in Israel for carrying out attacks in which Israeli civilians and soldiers were killed.
At the opening ceremony for this year's summer camps in the Gaza Strip, Fata Central Committee member Ahmed Hils, who is also Fatah's Commissioner for Recruitment and Organization in the Gaza Strip, stressed that the "Luminaries Not Numbers" name for the camps "is very important because it familiarizes the pioneers [i.e. the campers] with the suffering of the families of the martyrs, whose bodies are held in the Cemeteries of the Numbers." Asserting that "the Israeli enemy strives to deprive our people of its identity and to transform [the martyrs] into nothing but numbers," he added that "for our people, they are true luminaries. The martyrs are luminaries and the prisoners are luminaries… These luminaries will continue to glow in the sky of the homeland."
At the closing ceremony for the summer camps, Higher Council for Youth and Sports and Fatah Central Committee head Rajoub said: "The name 'Luminaries Not Numbers' was chosen in the steadfast belief that our martyrs are luminaries who sacrificed their lives for the homeland, and that they were and will remain in the people's memory." Calling Israel's refusal to return the terrorists' bodies is a mark of disgrace for the occupation, he added, "We shall neither rest nor be at ease until these martyrs [receive] the respect they deserve."
It is notable that in the past, the Higher Council for Youth and Sports received funding from the European Union and from UN organizations, among them the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Moreover, the council is still the official Palestinian body that works with international organizations in all matters concerning youth empowerment in the PA. The PLO Higher Council for Youth and Sports cooperates with the UN organizations and the European Union, both of which provide it with consultation and supervision.
The logo of the Luminaries Not Numbers summer camps, as it appears on the website of the Higher Council for Youth and Sports, which is subordinate to the PLO (Source: Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 13, 2023)
This report presents photos of the activities held at the PLO summer camps in 2023:
Glorification Of Terrorists
As noted, educational activities at the PLO summer camps included glorification and perpetuation of the memory of terrorists who carried out attacks against Israelis. Campers learned about the terrorists, were divided into groups named for the terrorists, waved posters that bore the terrorists' names and photos, decorated the camps with posters bearing their names, and participated in activities inspired by these figures.
Terrorists studied by the children at this year's camp included Dalal Al-Mughrabi, who was deputy commander of the terrorist cell that carried out the March 1978 Coastal Road massacre, in which 35 Israeli civilians, many of them children, were killed and 71 were wounded; 'Andaleeb Taqataqa, perpetrator of the April 2002 Mahane Yehuda market suicide attack in Jerusalem, in which six civilians were killed and 60 were wounded; Muhannad Al-Halabi, who in 2015 stabbed and killed two Israeli civilians in Jerusalem; Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, of the Lion's Den terrorist organization, who was responsible for a September 2022 series of shootings in the West Bank; 'Uday Al-Tamimi, who carried out the October 2022 shooting at a northern Jerusalem military checkpoint, killing a soldier, and another shooting less than two weeks later at the checkpoint at the entrance to the West Bank Jewish city of Maale Adumim; and many others.
One camp in the Jericho district held an activity to teach campers about terrorists who had murdered Israelis and whose bodies are held by Israel. A board displayed the names of the terrorists and the dates of their deaths. They included, in addition to Dalal Al-Mughrabi, Omar Abu Laila, who in March 2019 shot dead two Israelis at Ariel junction in the West Bank, and 17-year-old Muhammad Al-Tarayra who in June 2016 murdered a sleeping 13-year-old Israeli girl in Kiryat Arba.
Teaching about terrorists who murdered Israelis in the Jericho district PLO summer camp (Source: Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 19, 2023)
Left: Sign reads: "Muhannad Al-Halabi Martyrs Group" (Source: Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 11, 2023) Right: "Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi Martyrs Group" (Source: Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 11,2023)
Children at PLO summer camps in Hebron (left) and Bethlehem (right) hold posters with photos of Dalal Al-Mughrabi (Source: Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 13 and July 15, 2023)
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PLO summer camp in Bethlehem: Left: Camper holds poster with photos of terrorists, among them Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi and 'Uday Al-Tamimi; right: photos of terrorists under a sign reading "The 'Uday Al-Tamimi Martyrs Group" (Source: facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 15, 2023)
A camper at the Bethlehem summer camp holds a photo of Mahane Yehuda market suicide bomber 'Andaleeb Taqataqa (Source: facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 18, 2023)
At the Hebron summer camp, campers prepared a large poster with the names of numerous terrorists who murdered Israeli civilians, including: Nasser Abu Hmeid, a founder of Fatah's military wing Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, sentenced to seven life sentences plus 50 years for the murder of seven Israelis and another 12 attempted murders; Khairi Alqam, who shot to death six Israeli civilians and a Ukrainian citizen in Jerusalem in January 2023; Ahmad Nassar Jarrar, commander of the Hamas squad that murdered an Israeli civilian in January 2018 in the West Bank; Omar Abu Laila, who in March 2019 shot an Israeli soldier and an Israeli civilian in the West Bank; Wadee Al-Houh, a Lion's Den founder and commander responsible for a series of attacks in northern Samaria area; Muhannad Al-Halabi, who stabbed to death two Israeli civilians; and Lion's Den operative Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi who was responsible for a series of attacks in the West Bank.
Large poster at the PLO summer camp in Hebron, features the names of terrorists who murdered Israelis (Source: Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 15, 2023)
Campers at the PLO summer camp in the city of Salfit paint the name of terrorist Omar Abu Laila (Source: facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 14, 2023)
In other camp activities, campers lauded terrorists imprisoned in Israel for attacks in which Israeli civilians were killed. At the PLO summer camp in Khan Younis, they were photographed holding photos of senior Fatah member Marwan Barghouti, serving five life sentences for planning terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada (September 2000-February 2005) in which numerous Israelis were killed, and also photos of Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades senior member Hassan Salameh who is serving 46 life sentences for his involvement in planning suicide attacks that killed dozens of Israeli civilians.
Children at the PLO summer camp in Khan Younis hold photos of Marwan Barghouti and Hassan Salameh and others (Source: Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100075496284023, July 15, 2023)
A camper at a Bethlehem summer camp holds a photo of Walid Daqqa who is serving a life sentence for involvement in the kidnapping and murder of an Israeli soldier in 1984. (Source: Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 11, 2023)
At the concluding ceremony at one camp, campers waved photos of terrorists imprisoned in Israel, including Marwan Barghouti; Morad Abu Al-Rob, serving four life sentences for murdering two Israelis, preparing explosive belts, and membership in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades; and Omar Akawi, who commanded the Karine A freighter in its 2002 attempt to smuggle weapons from Iran to the Gaza Strip and is serving 25 years. Also displayed at the ceremony was a poster showing Israeli Arab terrorists Karim Yunis and his cousin Maher Yunis, who were released in early 2023 after serving a 40-year prison sentence for the 1980 kidnapping and murder of an Israeli soldier.
Campers hold photos of terrorists at the concluding ceremony at a PLO summer camp (Source: Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092237127037, July 24, 2023)
Higher Council For Youth And Sports Lauds Terrorist Who Was Its Former Employee, Who Was Captured After Stabbing An Israeli Civilian To Death
Camp activities also included glorification of a former employee of the Higher Council for Youth and Sports currently imprisoned for murdering an Israeli. At the camp in the Palestinian city of Tarqumiyah in the southern West Bank, campers reenacted the arrest of Mohammed Al-Badan, who worked for the council and who in October 2008 in Jerusalem stabbed to death an elderly man and wounded a police officer.
Alongside photos of the campers' reenactment on the council's Facebook page, Tarqumiya camp director Rinad Abu Dabous posted praise for Al-Badan: "I waited for the right opportunity to initiate a gesture of loyalty for a colleague, prisoner Mohammed Al-Badan, and when the summer camps opened, in advance of the activities we hold at camp in honor of our homeland, I consulted with my colleague Haifa Milhem, the director of the Isnaad summer camp for girls in the town of Halhul [in Hebron], who was enthusiastic about the idea." Noting that Al-Badan was greatly missed at the camp and would have wanted to be there, Abu Dabous asserted: "We must make him present here, because our prisoners are also heroes. We must commemorate them in a similar manner to the martyrs, because that are behind the bars of the occupation and they also are not numbers. They sacrificed their lives to defend the homeland."
Photos of campers' reenactment of the arrest of Al-Badan and camp director Abu Dabous' post (Source: Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 15, 2023)
 T.me/hcyspalestine, July 10, 2023; Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), July 12, 2023; for information about the summer camps in previous years, see 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; and 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.
 The name chosen for the summer camps in 2023 is based on a play on the similar Arabic words for numbers and moon.
 These cemeteries are referred to as "The Cemeteries of the Numbers" since due to security considerations only numbers appear on the headstones.
 Palestinefuture.net, July 10, 2023.
 T.me/hcyspalestine, July 23, 2023.
 See 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.
 For example, on December 10, 2020, the PA government signed a memorandum of understanding with UNICEF and UNDP and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to establish a Palestinian program for youth volunteerism, in cooperation with the Higher Council for Youth and Sports, Undp.org, December 13, 2020; and Unicef.org, December 11, 2020. Moreover, the European Union (EU) and council cooperation is in the framework of a 2021-2024 assistance program to the PA, as part of which Denmark is designated to lead the issue of youth empowerment. The strategic goal of this operation is "empowering Palestinian youth to become agents of positive change within their communities." Following consultations held by the EU with the Higher Council for Youth and Sports and with UN organizations, it was decided that in 2021-2023, there would be emphasis on "increased participation of Palestinian youth in civil and political life." Eeas.europs.eu, June 2, 2023.
 For more about the glorification of Dalal Al-Mughrabi in the PA in recent years, see MEMRI Special Dispatch 9135, Palestinian Authority Commemorates, Glorifies Terrorists In 'Martyr Day' Events; Article In PA Daily: Jesus Was The First Palestinian Martyr, January 12, 2021; MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8773, Palestinian Authority, Fatah Continue To Glorify Terrorists Who Carried Out Attacks Against Civilians, June 1, 2020; MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7708, New Series Of Fatah Booklets For Children Glorifies Terrorists Such As Abu Jihad, Dalal Al-Mughrabi, October 12, 2018; MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7380, Palestinian Authority And Fatah Glorify Terrorist Dalal Al-Mughrabi And The Contribution Of Other Female Martyrs And Prisoners To The Palestinian Cause, March 12, 2018; and MEMRI Special Dispatch 6830, Fatah And Palestinian Authority (PA) Officials, PA Press Commemorate Terrorist Dalal Al-Mughrabi, Glorify Her Actions, March 16, 2017.
 For more on Palestinian Authority glorification of Muhannad Al-Halabi, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 9380, Palestinian President 'Abbas Grants $42,000 To Family Of Terrorist Who Killed Two Israeli Civilians, June 7, 2021; and MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6249, PA Commemorates Perpetrators Of Stabbing Attacks, December 30, 2015.
 For more on Palestinian Authority glorification of Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10305, Hebron High School Glorifies Terrorists And Terrorism, Inculcates Ideal Of Martyrdom Through Sports And Culture Activities, Everyday Study Materials, November 7, 2022.
 For more information about the glorification of 'Uday Al-Tamimi, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10279, Palestinian Authority Daily Praises Terrorist 'Uday Al-Tamimi: He Carried Out Heroic Acts For Sake Of The Homeland, October 24, 2022; MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10284, Fatah Officials At Events In Honor Of Terrorist 'Uday Al-Tamimi: Fatah Follows The Path Of Struggle; The Martyr Al-Tamimi Carried Out Heroic Actions, October 27, 2022; MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10299, Hebron Schoolteacher And Fatah Activist Commemorates Terrorist 'Uday Al-Tamimi In Physics Exam: 'Calculate The Distance The Martyr Traveled From Shu'afat To Ma'ale Adumim', November 4, 2022; and MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10305, Hebron High School Glorifies Terrorists And Terrorism, Inculcates Ideal Of Martyrdom Through Sports And Culture Activities, Everyday Study Materials, November 7, 2022.
 Latifa Abu Hmeid, the mother of Nasser Abu Hmeid, has another five sons who are terrorists, and she has become a symbol of courage and sacrifice in the PA and has been praised by senior PA officials. See for example MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 9735, Palestinian Authority, Headed By Mahmoud 'Abbas, Continues To Praise Mother Of Six Terrorists: You Are Our Pride And Glory, January 25, 2022.
 For more on Palestinian Authority glorification of Ahmad Nassar Jarrar, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7329, Palestinian Authority, Fatah, Jordanian Press Extol Perpetrators Of Recent Terror Attacks In Israel, February 12, 2018; MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7358, Fatah, Headed By Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas, Gives Apartment To Family Of Terrorist Who Murdered An Israeli, February 27, 2018; and MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7980, Palestinian Authority, Fatah Continue Official Support And Encouragement Of Armed Struggle Against Israel, April 2, 2019.
 For more on Palestinian Authority glorification of Omar Abu Laila, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7954, Praise, Admiration In Palestinian Authority, Jordan For Palestinian Terrorist Who Killed Israelis In West Bank, March 22, 2019.
 Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100075496284023, July 15, 2023.
 Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092237127037, July 24, 2023.
 Facebook.com/hcyspalestine, July 15, 2023.