Hamas held a closing ceremony in the Gaza Strip on Friday for a batch of the 120,000 boys and girls attending the Islamic terror group’s controversial summer schools.
The ceremony, for some 1,000 students who took part in camps in the southern city of Khan Yunis, was framed as part of Hamas’s plan to continue its armed conflict with Israel.
Boys between 15 and 18 years of age were put through military drills at the week-long camp, including shooting with live ammunition and training in scouting skills.
They also jumped through fiery hoops and went over obstacle courses.
Hamas official Ashraf Abu Zayed said the training came within the framework of “preparing for the liberation of Palestine.”
“We are trying to invest the younger generation and guide them towards the liberation project,” he told AFP, referring to armed struggle against Israel.
Such camps in the enclave of two million people have been heavily criticised by rights groups concerned with young people’s welfare.
Israel says they indoctrinate young people into Islamist Hamas’s terrorist ideology.
Hamas and Israel have fought three wars since 2008, and Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade on the enclave aimed at preventing Hamas from bringing in arms and ammunition.