Gaza preschoolers stage mock killing of Israeli soldier

Graduation at Islamic Jihad-linked preschool features dramatization of Israel’s destruction by kids in military fatigues armed with toy guns

Palestinian children at the Al-Hoda kindergarten perform a play about killing an IDF soldier and taking a civilian hostage on May 13, 2018. (MEMRI, courtesy)
Palestinian children at the Al-Hoda kindergarten perform a play about killing an IDF soldier and taking a civilian hostage on May 13, 2018. (MEMRI, courtesy)

Children at a Gaza preschool linked to a Palestinian terrorist organization recently held a graduation ceremony in which the preschoolers wore military uniforms and brandished toy machine guns as they performed a mock hostage-taking and killing of an Israeli solider, a media watchdog group said.

Footage of the May ceremony at the Al-Hoda preschool showed the children clad in Islamic Jihad fatigues storming an Israeli building on “Al-Quds Street,” capturing a classmate dressed in traditional ultra-Orthodox Jewish garb and killing another dressed in an IDF uniform.

After the hostage is whisked off stage and the soldier is laying prone on the ground, one of the children displays a sign that says “Israel has fallen” in both Arabic and Hebrew. The five-minute performance is set to loud explosions and gunfire.

After the performance, several children in military uniforms armed with toy guns return to the stage to demonstrate military formations while an address by late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat plays in the background.

The Middle East Media Research Institute, which provided a translation of the video, reported that Al-Hoda is affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, and has held similar ceremonies in the past.

MEMRI said that unlike in previous years, Al-Hoda did not post the footage of the graduation to its usual social media channels, instead directing parents to a separate YouTube channel that featured the performance.

The graduation ceremony came amid an upsurge in violence in Gaza.

In two months of mass violent protests at the Gaza border, some 110 Palestinians were killed and thousands wounded by Israeli military fire. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have acknowledged that dozens of the fatalities were their own members.

Israel has accused Hamas of using the clashes as a cover to carry out attacks and attempt to breach the border fence.

Both Gaza-based terrorist groups also took responsibility for bombarding southern Israel with dozens of rockets and mortar shells earlier this week. The IDF responded by striking Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets throughout Gaza, before an unofficial ceasefire was reportedly reached between the sides.

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