Inside Hamas Summer Camp

A boys’ camp in the Palestinian territories.


A kinder, more moderate Hamas? That’s the image Gaza’s ruling militant group is hoping to sell, in any case. Having scaled back the rocket attacks on Southern Israel that prompted Israel to strike back last December and invade Gaza in a conflict that lasted three weeks, Hamas has refocused on public relations. “Armed resistance is still important and legitimate,” Hamas leader Ayman Taha told the New York Times in July. “But we have a new emphasis on cultural resistance.”

The new emphasis includes state support for films, television, art shows, and poetic works that portray Gaza residents struggling under Israeli policies. It also includes countless government-run summer camps, which Israel has criticized as ideological training grounds where kids learn how to use weapons. Photos from inside these camps are rare, but Demotix photojournalist Eman Mohammed was cleared to shoot a “scout” camp for younger boys, and eventually got permission to spend a few hours inside the camp for older boys. The images above feature scenes from both camps.

“Hamas scout summer camps” for children and youths in the Gaza Strip start in July every year. The camps are criticised by Israel which accuses Hamas of training children in the use of weaponry and to promote its Islamist ideology.
 

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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