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Palestinian schools teaching children how to use assault rifles and hand grenades

By Mason White 2:07 PM April 29, 2013
Palestinian children armed with assault rifles 

By: David Ross
(Scroll down for video) The world is again seeing first hand how radical Islamists are teaching their children from a young age to engage in terror, dimming the hope of some who envision Middle East peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestinian school children are learning to shoot Kalashnikov rifles, throw grenades and planting IEDs as part of a program run by the Hamas Ministry of Education.

The plan has been criticized by Palestinian human rights groups, which point out that Hamas has previously banned sports in the curriculum of the school because there is not enough time during the school day.

Hamas authorities presented the “Futuwwa” or youth program in the state curriculum last year, to 37,000 children aged between 15 and 17-years-old, calling it a program that will train a new generation of Palestinian men to fight against Israel.

I was excited to learn the correct way to use a weapon,
Izzadine Mohamed, 17, one of the students who attended the weekly school classes covering first aid, basic fire fighting and how to fire a Kalashnikov rifle, said. He was one of 5,000 children across Gaza, who also enrolled in a two-week camp at a Hamas military base.

“I was excited to learn the correct way to use a gun,” the teenager said. “It is important because of the occupation. I feel stronger with the knowledge that I could be used against the occupier,” the teen added.
At the two-week camp, children dressed in military-style black shirts and black jeans uniforms, and were trained by officers of the National Guard, Hamas militants, and the armed wing of Hamas, al-Qassam Brigades.

Zakout Samar, from the Gaza-based human rights organization Al Mezan, described the measure as “unbelievable” and that may encourage Israel to view schools as targets during conflicts. He said: “They are trying to create a culture of resistance, make our kids stronger to deal with Israel, but that should not be done in schools. Perhaps Israel will use this as a reason to bomb Gaza schools in the future.”

Mohamed Syam, head of the Ministry of Education in charge of the program, said: “We are not conducting military training in our schools, we are just providing information,” he said.

“Hamas should immediately end all military training to children. Teaching children how to use military assault rifles is extremely dangerous, both physically and emotionally. Also, this is not the way of achieving a lasting peace in the Middle East,” Jamaal Cyr, 23, of Detroit, Michigan told after learning about the military training of school children.

A video clip showing a military demonstration in a school in Gaza also seems to contradict the official line of Hamas. The video showed a mock Israeli military post on a school playground, where Palestinian militants enact a battle. A rocket launcher fired at the military post, leaving only a smoldering metal frame and an Israeli flag waving.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view