June 24, 2014 This year, as in previous ones, Hamas has been operating summer camps throughout the Gaza Strip; the camps are attended by over 100,000 boys and girls from fifth grade to high school age. This year’s name for the camps – ‘Beacons of Liberation’ – was, according to camps coordinator Mussa Al-Samak, aimed at enhancing the campers’ awareness of the liberation of ‘all of Palestine.’ Al-Samak said that the summer camps are emphasizing topics such as the right of return, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the resistance, and added that it is the movement’s responsibility ‘to sow the love of the homeland and the liberation of Palestine in the souls of the youth, so that this generation brings us to the stage of liberation.' At the opening ceremony for the summer camps in western Gaza, Hamas Political Bureau deputy head Ismail Haniya said that the movement would continue ‘to call and educate for the liberation of all of Palestine, for actualizing the return of the refugees and the release of the prisoners, and for establishing a state on all Palestinian lands with Jerusalem as its capital.’ He said that these camps focus on building a generation that could liberate the homeland and Jerusalem and bring the refugees back to their homes.
Ismail Haniya with campers (Facebook.com/Camp.west.Gaza2014) Paltimes.com, a website close to Hamas, reported that the logo chosen for the camps this year has symbolic meaning and that it features ‘a map of Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea, next to an image of the Dome of the Rock, as well as a beacon with a flame in the colors of the Palestinian flag… Beneath this is the motto ‘Prepare Against Them,’ from Allah’s words [Koran 8:60] ‘And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war,’ to stress that the preparation and nurturing [of children]from a young age, in all areas, will have an impact in the liberation of land and of man.'”
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The GMBDW reported in January that the Hamas government in Gaza had 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. The GMBDW reported in July 2012 that Hamas would be dominating Gaza summer camps that year after the UN ran out of funds for the programs.
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.