University of Gaza students affiliated with Hamas used chains and knives to attack Fatah supporters several days ago, sending several students to the hospital. The incident is a footnote in a long-standing atmosphere of Jihadist education at the university, which maintains that it is an academic institution like any other.
Using aid from the West and affiliation with international student bodies, the Islamic University of Gaza is a greenhouse for Hamas terrorists, according to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC).
Founded in 1978 by since-assassinated Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, it has been described by The New York Times’ Steve Erlanger as "one of the prime means for Hamas to convert Palestinians to its Islamist cause.”
De facto Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is one of many Hamas terrorist leaders who are graduates of Gaza U., where he studied Arabic literature. Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar learned alternative medicine there.
The al-Qassam Brigades, the terror arm of the Hamas political machine, uses Gaza University laboratories to develop and produce explosives and long-range rockets, ITIC reports. “Students are involved in manufacturing weapons and are sent by Hamas to Iran, Syria and Lebanon for further training,” its researchers add. “The university is a warehouse for weapons and the venue for secret meetings of military leaders.”
Violent clashes between Hamas and Fatah supporters are common, and Hamas students used chains and knives several days in a violent confrontation with Fatah rivals, several of whom were hospitalized.
The University of Gaza maintains the profile of an academic institution and is a member of four international university groups, including the International Association of Universities. Although it “conducts lectures on its radical ideology and concentrates on hostility to Israel and the West," the terror researcher states, it is funded by Western and Muslim groups in the United States, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, among others.
It maintains links with respected academic institutions, such as the London School of Economics and Queen Mary College. Several years ago, international chipmaker Intel set up the Intel Information Technology Center of Excellence at the university.
However, inside its walls, lecturers emphasize the importance of Jihad and the Islamic code while teaching how to use the media for religious coercion. Its academic studies, including those for teachers in grade schools, are linked to Jihadist education and the value of suicide attacks.
Gaza University academics deny it is a Hamas institution. “Equally important for our American colleagues is to remove the false label that IUG is a ‘Hamas-controlled’ institution,” according to two of its lecturers. “IUG is a university like any other in Palestine that reflects the diversity of its population."
However, IDF intelligence has known for years that Hamas develops and stores Kassam rockets at the university, which was evacuated during Israel's Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist operation. The IDF bombed its weapons laboratories, but the United Nations “Fact Finding Mission” reported, “These were civilian, educational buildings and the Mission did not find any information about their use as a military facility.”