NEW YORK- Throughout the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Arab children are receiving firearms training and lessons in bomb-making and it will be easier for them to strike at Israel if the Israelis withdraw from Gaza.
Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) said: It is only the presence of Israeli troops that keeps these would-be terrorists and their trainers at bay if Israel leaves Gaza, these young bomb-makers will be free to strike across the border into Israel.
The Jerusalem Post reported (July 13, 2004):
Palestinian children attending some summer camps in the Gaza Strip are undergoing military training at the hands of gunmen belonging to various Palestinian factions. The children, aged 7-15, are taught, among other things, how to use automatic rifles and pistols, assemble and dismantle explosive charges, and jump through burning tires.
The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel on Tuesday broadcast footage of the children undergoing military training in one of the summer camps in the Gaza Strip. The report showed the children also being trained how to rescue hostages from a hijacked white Subaru. Most of the children were seen brandishing different types of weapons and dressed in military fatigue.
Most of the trainers were masked men carrying AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled launchers. Some of them belonged to Fatahs armed wing, Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades The supervisors of the camp were quoted as saying that the purpose of the military training was to prepare the children to defend their homeland.
The report also showed the children graduating from the military summer camp and receiving certificates of merit from masked gunmen.
Hamas and other Islamic groups have also launched their own summer camps in dozens of mosques throughout the Gaza Strip. The mosque camps, which are the most popular, offer lessons in the Koran and computer, as well as various sports activities. We hire professional captains and teachers to polish up the physical and mental skills of our children, who, God willing, will liberate Palestine, Jasser Al-Mashoukhi, the imam of Al-Farouk mosque in the southern city of Rafah told the Islam On Line Website.