As part of a child’s upbringing in the Gaza Strip under Hamas rule, the child is subject to indoctrination from a very young age. He is taught that the Jews are the enemy, and that his duty is to “liberate Palestine” or to “destroy Israel and the Zionists”. This is evident in children’s programming, school curriculum, and the rewarding of those who do terror operations with money and honour.
In the “March of Return” events of the past year, the children are often encouraged directly by Hamas via Facebook, text messages, Mosque sermons to participate in life threatening activities at the border fence. One arrested individual said that Hamas members, dressed in civilian clothes would encourage children to cross the fence and steal IDF equipment.
Hamas invests a lot of money and resources in raising the children to participate in the marches. By way of summer camps, calls by leaders and campaigns to shuttle participants to the fence.
A Hamas leader, Fathi Hamad stated, “We will teach our children, starting from kindergarten to school age, how they must move forward to liberate our land. Young people of Gaza; after you finish your advanced courses in the March of return, you must join the (military arms of Hamas). After one year we managed to recruits all the young people of Gaza.”
Hamas uses children’s summer camps to indoctrinate hatred toward Jews, violence, and trains them in violent terror operations.
Children have been used by Hamas to build terror tunnels. According to a study conducted by the Institute for Palestine studies, 160 individuals have been killed building tunnels, including children.
At the weekly “Marches”, children are often sent to the fence directly in front of IDF vehicles in order to climb the fence, plant explosives, distract them or cover IDF field of vision. This obviously put the children in direct danger because if a breach or life threatening event occurs, the IDF must act, and a child could get in the line of fire.