Israeli media is reporting that the Hamas government in Gaza has celebrated the graduation of paramilitary camps encouraging high school students to “follow in the footsteps of the suicide martyrs” and to prepare for a future war with Israel. According to a Times of Israel report:
January 15, 2014, 2:33 pm The Hamas government in Gaza celebrated the graduation on Monday of paramilitary camps geared at training high-school children ‘to follow in the footsteps of the suicide martyrs.’
The camps, titled ‘the pioneers of liberation,’ are run by Hamas’s ministries of education and interior. Some 13,000 students in grades 10-12 participated in the one-week training camps this year, compared to 5,000 last year when the program was launched, Israeli sources with knowledge of the program said.
The corps of instructors consists mainly of active members of Hamas’s security forces, and the curriculum includes weapons training, first aid, self defense, marching exercises and ‘security awareness’ classes on identifying Israeli spies.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Interior Minister Fathi Hammad and Education Minister Usama Mzeini attended the graduation ceremony on Monday, each delivering fiery speeches stressing the importance of military training in developing a new generation of Palestinian combatants.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (center) attends the graduation ceremony in Gaza, January 13, 2014 (photo credit: Hamas interior ministry website)
‘Beware this generation,’ Haniyeh said, addressing Israel. ‘This is a generation which knows no fear. It is the generation of the missile, the tunnel and the suicide operations.’
The Hamas prime minister added that female trainers are also on staff ‘to oversee the training of the young women to follow in the footsteps of the female suicide operatives.’
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The GMBDW reported last week on what was described the “rapprochement” between Hamas and Iran following a three year breach as well as on the continuing decline of relations between Hamas and Egypt.
The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly-opened border to review Hamas military formations. A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman revealed that a coalition of London-based Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, were behind the mass demonstrations staged to protest Israeli actions in the 2008 Gaza war and the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish affiliates were also intimately involved, along with the Turkish government, in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Following a period of seeming ascension related to the period of Egyptian rule by the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization was forced to scramble to try and find other state sponsors after Mohamed Morsi was deposed as President. In September 2013, it appeared that Hamas had succeeded in re-establishing close ties with Iran. In January 2013, Israeli intelligence sources claimed that Turkey has replaced Iran as the chief source of Hamas financing.