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.
 

 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate