An ISIS-like video documenting a pageant of repentance for schoolchildren in Gaza has aroused commotion among Palestinians.
The video, released on Tuesday, shows a mass-repentance event conducted in Gaza's al-Neel school by a religious preaching group from the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs.
According to the main preacher who led the event, the ceremony was aimed at "expelling the devil from our hearts, our thoughts and our minds. We want to introduce our hearts and our thoughts with the love of Allah and the Koran," he said.
The schoolchildren are shown undergoing the repentance process, which starts with receiving the preachers' blessing, wishing the child a "genuine return to Allah," and ends with them bowing down to Allah.
Although the documented repentance is not violent, the children in the video seem to be mentally traumatized, as some of them cry out hysterically while others burst into tears after being forced to bow to Allah.
Palestinians from all over the political spectrum denounced the video that was widely spread on social media networks. Fatah claimed that the video demonstrates that Hamas aspires to restore the indulgence policy used by religious preachers in the old ages, making cynical use the religion.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine expressed its "strong amazement," claiming that the children in the video are subject to "inhuman mental conditions that hurt their childhood."
In contrast, the Ministry of Education in Gaza stated that the notorious ceremony was conducted in collaboration with the school's principal and that Hamas has nothing to do with it. The ministry rejected the claims that the ceremony was extremist, stating that it related only to reacceptance and did not include violence of any kind.