We recently reported on Hamas’ ongoing training of young people as its next generation of terrorists. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh says that the transformation of Gaza into a terrorist training camp for children – while allowing the people of Gaza to suffer – is a crime:
For the past several months, Hamas leaders have been complaining that they do not have enough money to rebuild the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the last war with Israel.
However, it appears that Hamas does have enough funds to train, arm and indoctrinate thousands of young Palestinian men and boys.
While thousands of Palestinian families who lost their houses during the war continue to live in public shelters throughout the Gaza Strip, Hamas recently established 18 camps for military training.
The Hamas military training camps, under the motto “Vanguards of Liberation,” have attracted some 17,000 Palestinian males aged 15-21. The young recruits were trained how to use various types of weapons, including pistols, rifles and mortars. They were also “educated” about the need to eliminate Israel and “restore Palestinian rights…”
If Hamas has the resources to fund and arm a new “Liberation Army” consisting of 17,000 fighters, why does it continue to demand that the international community allocate billions of dollars for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip? The money that was spent on the “Vanguards of Liberation” training camps could have solved the problems facing thousands of Palestinian families who lost their homes during last summer’s war (Operation Protective Edge).
But Hamas, which is first and foremost responsible for the tragedy of these families, is not interested in taking any part in the efforts to rebuild destroyed homes. Instead, Hamas seems to be more determined than ever to continue raising new generations of Palestinians on jihad and hatred.
Hamas has turned the Gaza Strip into a huge training camp for jihadis and militiamen affiliated not only with it, but also with the Islamic State. By forming a new army that consists mostly of teenagers, Hamas is committing a crime against Palestinians in general and young people in particular.
This is all happening at a time when the Palestinian Authority [PA] in the West Bank continues with its threats to file “war crimes” charges against Israel. Obviously, the PA and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, do not see Hamas’s cynical exploitation and abuse of Palestinian children as a war crime.
Hamas has made it clear that it plans to send the teenagers to launch rockets and mortars at Israel, with the hope that they would achieve “martyrdom.” But this does not seem to bother Abbas or the Palestinian Authority, or even the international community.
If and when the International Criminal Court convenes to consider “war crimes” in the Middle East, the first thing the judges should look into is how Hamas sent thousands of Palestinian teenagers to their deaths and, as that was happening, how Abbas and the Palestinian Authority looked the other way.