Thousands of Gazan youth graduated this past week from Hamas terror training camp for teens. The exact number of graduates is estimated to be between 10,000 – 17,000. The special “terror camps” lasted six days and was sponsored by the Hamas government in Gaza.
The Gazan youth who completed the camp are now part of a group called the “Vanguard of Liberation.” Among the topics taught was how to be a sniper, use in a variety of weapons, how to kidnap soldiers and how to most easily penetrate Israel via terror tunnel. They held their ceremony while marching through the streets of Gaza City and Khan Yunis.
Organized by the Izzedin al-Qassam brigade, the armed wing of Hamas, youth aged 15-21 are specifically recruited to take part in the terror camps. Why? Hamas has found that this is the age bracket these Gazan youth will most likely turn to become terrorists.
“We are participating in the camp so that we will know how to fight the Zionist enemy and regain our ancestral home of Palestine,” said one youth, in footage from the camps which was broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 TV.
A spokesperson for Izzedin al-Qassam told the graduates at the ceremony “today, these youths are soldiers in the Gaza Strip” and will fight against Israel.
“Tomorrow they will liberate the Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem. The Zionist enemy needs to know that we are coming soon to liberate our Aksa Mosque and prisoners,” the spokesperson added.
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar, speaking at the ceremony in Khan Yunis, said that the “Palestinian resistance was founded to defend Palestinians and the dignity of all Arabs and Muslims.”
No “reasonable person could describe the Palestinian resistance as terrorism,” added Zahar. Zahar also said that the graduates will be the future “liberation army“, and would be the ones launching rockets at Israel in the next war.
The number of the graduates increased dramatically from the previous years camp, which consisted of only 5,000 participants. This is the second year that the program is running.
Other calls for an imminent recurrence of war with Israel were heard throughout the day, including by Interior Minister Fathi Hammad, who said that the training was in preparation for another impending war with Israel.
While the camps are not new, this was the first time that Hamas held the camps on their military bases in the Strip.
Hamas tried to make good use of their vast terrorist infrastructure this summer against Israel. Hamas fired more than 4,500 rockets at Israel during the 50-day war of Operation Protective Edge. The IDF destroyed a vast system of terror tunnels that were used to carry out cross-border attacks against the Jewish state.
Some 2,000 Gazans died in the conflict, majority of them terrorist operatives working for Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups. There were a total of 73 Israeli fatalities, most of which were IDF soldiers.