Tawfiq Qanita, head of the indoctrination unit in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, said that the participants of the "Sword of Jerusalem" summer camp for 14-17 year-olds seek to become martyrs and to liberate their country. He made his remarks in an interview that aired on Al-Quds Al-Youm TV (Islamic Jihad – Gaza) on June 19, 2021. Qanita said that in the PIJ, they do not consider the summer camp participants to be children, rather they consider them to be young men, who are "in the most need" of preparation for military conditions. He said that the members of this age group can be counted on to be the commanders of tomorrow. Qanita explained that this generation will not accept anything but Palestine in its entirety, the demise of the Jews, and the demise of Israel. For more about indoctrination and military training in Palestinian summer camps, see MEMRI TV clips nos. 7333, 6151, 6145, 5577, and 5025.
Interviewer: "Why did you choose this timeframe, and this age group? 14 to 17-year olds are a very specific age group. There may be younger children who want to take part [in the summer camp], and there may be people over 17 who also want to take part."
Tawfiq Qanita: "Islamic Jihad has numerous programs [for children]. There are [Quran] memorization centers specifically for those under 14. There are field trips for them, indoor summer camps for [Quran] memorization, as well as other venues for their vacation. We specifically chose this age group of 14-17 year old children, because this is the age group that we count on to be the commanders of tomorrow, and they are the ones who are most in need of preparation for military conditions and for the complex Palestinian situation, which requires young people who are familiar with every aspect of their cause. Therefore, this age group – 14 year olds – is very important for us. This age group needs indoctrination in the fields of security, culture, and ideology. They also need physical and military fitness. This age group is fit for the programs that were prepared by the Islamic Jihad and the preparatory committee that oversees the 'Sword of Jerusalem' summer camps.
"These children...Well, some might consider them to be children, but we consider them to be men. These men, despite their young age...In one of the summer camps, I was walking among them, while they were in a painting class. Most of them were drawing the road to Jerusalem. They were saying 'I am from Gaza, I live in Beit Lahya or in Beit Hanoun. How can I sneak into Jerusalem? How can I become a martyr? How can I liberate my country?' They drew the road to Jerusalem, with their meager capabilities. This is why we say to the Zionist enemy: You are facing a generation that will not accept the '67 or '68 [borders], and not even the '48 [borders]. They will accept nothing less than Palestine in its entirety. They will accept nothing less than the demise of all the Jews, the demise of Israel. This is what they strive for. This is what they want. This is the generation's goal."