Hamas launches summer camps in Gaza

Organization says it plans recreational activities and Quran reciting lessons for the territory's children.

hamas kids 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
hamas kids 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Hamas's Central Committee for Summer Camps (CCSC) announced on July 1 the launching of approximately 800 summer camps in the Gaza Strip, where more than 150,000 children will spend their summer vacation. The camps, titled 'Steadfastness Despite the Closure,' "aims to strengthen the ongoing steadfastness of the Gaza Strip's people, in the face of the strangling Zionist closure," the announcement read. The camps will provide recreational activities and Quran reciting lessons, and all participants will wear special uniforms, the committee added. Last summer various reports from Gaza indicated that Hamas had been using such camps to train children in the use of weapons and to promote its Islamist ideology. Alongside Hamas's camps, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is operating summer camps for more than 200,000 children who are registered in UNRWA's schools, as well as for others wishing to attend. "There is no competition between our camps and those of Hamas," Adnan Abu Hasna from UNRWA's Gaza office told The Media Line. "Our programs include discussions about peace and coexistence; no politics are involved," added Abu Hasna, who said he had no knowledge regarding the programming used in Hamas's camps.