San Francisco Chronicle reports at nearly a dozen sites across the Gaza Strip, about 13,000 male Palestinian students this month learned how to prepare for the next round of fighting with Israel. For six days, the boys were trained by the military wing of Hamas, the Islamic group that has ruled Gaza since 2007. It was the first time such boot camps had taken place during a school break.
The program grew out of an elective that has been offered in Gaza's high schools since 2012 that consists mainly of lectures about weapons, street-fighting techniques, fitness and Israel's recruitment of spies. SF Chronicle elaborates the course also teaches students how to climb down buildings on ropes, run through obstacle courses, crawl under barbed wire and jump over burning tires. Older students learn how to shoot AK-47 rifles, while younger ones practice with mock rifles.