Hundreds Of Palestinian Summer Youth Camps Training Children To Fire Rockets At Israel
July 31, 2008


In the Gaza Strip, during the past few weeks, Palestinian terror groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have been holding camps throughout, some of them proudly displaying rockets and other weaponry which the youth are trained to use. Hamas alone is currently conducting no less than 300 summer camps for tens of thousands of children, and the focus is on familiarizing kids with the Palestinian towns and cities destroyed in 1948, as well as instilling religious fervor in them. The camps also feature sports and military-type trainings such as crawling under barbed-wire.


PIJ has also launched its own summer camps, offering some 10,000 children activities similar to those of Hamas. The kids study passages from the Quran and participate in quizzes on religious matters, with emphasis on the required commitment to political prisoners and Palestinian land. They also learn how to hold a Qassem rocket-launcher. A PIJ operative said, “In the camps we emphasize the need to unite and put an end to the internal struggles. We called them ‘unity and principle maintaining camps'” (Ali Waked, ‘Palestinian children on annual vacation can choose between Hamas or Islamic Jihad summer camps, both of which boast militia-style training, Koran classes, lessons on political prisoners,’ Yediot Ahronot, July 31, 2008).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “There is unfortunately nothing new about this harrowing program for Palestinian youth of indoctrination and training for jihadist terrorism. It is something that has been occurring ever since the Palestinian Authority (PA) was set up under Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas – although that has never stopped other countries, including the United States, from negotiating and rewarding it with concession and funds.


“This is the sort of eye-opening occurrence that shows in stark detail that not all societies wish the same thing for their children. Here in America, youth camps offer educational, social and sporting activities aimed giving the best to our children. In Gaza, youth camps serve a very different purpose – to indoctrinate hatred, jihad, a yearning for violent murder and death and to train children in the use of guns and rockets.


“In these circumstances, peace is simply unattainable. Instead of ignoring this core reality, Israel, the United States and the world must sever ties with the PA. We never negotiated with or funded the Taliban under these circumstances. We should not make an except for the PA or Hamas.” 

Our Mission
The ZOA speaks out for Israel – in reports, newsletters, and other publications. In speeches in synagogues, churches, and community events, in high schools and colleges from coast to coast. In e-mail action alerts. In op-eds and letters to the editor. In radio and television appearances by ZOA leaders. Always on the front lines of pro-Israel activism, ZOA has made its mark.
  • Center for Law & Justice
    We work to educate the American public and Congress about legal issues in order to advance the interests of Israel and the Jewish people.
    We assist American victims of terrorism in vindicating their rights under the law, and seek to hold terrorists and sponsors of terrorism accountable for their actions.
    We fight anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses.
    We strive to enforce existing law and also to create new law in order to safeguard the rights of the Jewish people in the United States and Israel.