Summer of Hate

Training with live ammunition (Safa News Agency, Gaza)

Back in the day kids went to summer camp for fun, life lessons and to give their parents a few weeks rest. Activities included sailing, canoeing and marshmallow roasting around the the campfire. But like many things, summer camp is a little different in this part of the world.

On the Gaza strip nearly a 100,000 young kids went to ‘Hamas Summer Camp’ where activities included AK-47 handling, paramilitary training, protest marching and Martyr education. A new report from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center talked about the camps and their perennial existence on the impoverished land between Egypt and Israel. Hearing about kids in paramilitary training is rather hard to picture…but when one sees the pictures of young boys carrying out assault drills its hard to be optimistic about the future of peace in the region.

Since Hamas took over the Gaza strip a few years ago they have continued to consolidate their power. This year militants burned down a number of UN sponsored summer camps that taught things slightly more age appropriate.


I like the idea of teaching gun safety and proper handling to kids at summer camp, but other aspects such as protest marching and Martyr education seem a bit much.