Young Palestinian children participating in a festival in the Gaza Strip this week wore military fatigues, and brandished toy knives and machine guns as they performed a play simulating violence against Israelis.
The event was broadcast on a Hamas television channel dedicated to culture, available in Gaza and the West Bank, according to Channel 2 news.
One short clip of the play aired on Channel 2 on Tuesday shows a young girl armed with a knife attempting to free a Palestinian prisoner from Israeli jail by stabbing the guards. She is shot and falls to the ground amid cries and screams from the audience. Other little girls then approach and cry over her “body.”
“Do not be angry with her,” a voice on the loudspeaker says. “She is your blood, your flesh and your honor.”
In the next scene, a boy dressed as a masked Palestinian sniper shoots a soldier and frees the prisoner from Israel.
“Rejoice! the sniper has arrived!” the upbeat music plays during the scene.
The play was performed in the Strip’s southern city of Khan Younis as part of the ongoing Palestine Festival for Children and Education.
Ofir Gendelman, the Arab media spokesperson at the Prime Minister’s Office compared the play to the propaganda of the Islamic State.
“When Palestinians send their kids to act in this school play no wonder their kids committ [sic] attacks when they’re older” Gendelman tweeted.
Negative portrayals of Jews and Israelis in official Palestinian media and school textbooks have long been a concern to Israeli officials who claim the content amounts to incitement.
Israeli politicians have demanded that the Palestinian Authority crack down on anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric in official broadcasts, arguing it has inspired many young Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israelis.
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