Hamas is reporting record turnouts for its summer camps for children in 2011.
The 'summer camps,' combining Islamic indoctrination, paramilitary training, and social activities are set to begin again this year as United Nation’s summer camps, considered competition by Hamas, are being openly denigrated by jihadists.
Children and adolescents are an important target demographic for Hamas, from which its future army of terrorists will be recruited. Summer camps are an important means for indoctrinating Gaza's youth with Hamas' jihadist ideology.
In 2010 Hamas ran camps for an estimated 100,000 campers, a number similar to 2009. The Islamic Jihad terror group ran 51 camps with 10,000 participating boys and girls.
Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan reported the objectives of the camps were to raise a generation of children with 'genuine Islamic values.'
"Children working for the interests of their homeland and to educate them to the culture of the Islamic faith so they will remember their goals, including Jerusalem and the prisoners," Radwan said
In addition to indoctrination, Hamas terrorists give children paramilitary training. Banners are hung on the walls with slogans extolling jihad and 'death for the sake of Allah.'
Other prominent motifs for this year are solidarity with Turkey in connection with the Mavi Marmara flotilla, a call for the release of Hamas prisoners (campers carried posters with their pictures) and organized expressions of hatred for Israel and the Jewish people.
UNRWA Programs Attacked
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency summer camp system hosted 250,000 children and adolescents in 2010. This year, as with previous years, the UN camps were harassed by jihadist terrorists.
On May 23, 2010 a group of 30 armed, masked men broke into an UNRWA summer camp site and burned it to the ground. On the night of June 28, 2010 armed, masked men broke into another UNRWA camp site in the Al-Zuweida region in central Gaza and set it on fire. In both incidents the arsonists were not identified.
A UNRWA spokesman called on the security services of the de facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip to investigate and determine who was behind the attacks.
But the groups of armed men who attack the UNRWA summer camps every year receive are inspired by, and probably supported by, Hamas and other terror networks networks operating in Gaza who say the UNRWA camps are 'undermining Palestinian values.'