Summer Camp, Hamas-Style

In 2014, over 100,000 Gazan children attended summer camps run by the terror organization. These camps, in the words of one high-ranking Hamas official, “are designed to prepare a generation that carries the Quran and the rifle.” Riley Clafton describes what that entails:

This summer, Muhammad Nofal’s ten-year-old son will be participating in all of the typical Gaza summer-camp activities: scouting, beach games, media lessons, military training sessions, and introductory programs on this year’s theme, the “Jerusalem intifada.” Other campers will spend their summer like twelve-year-old Musaab, learning to crawl beneath barbed wire and wield assault rifles in simulated attacks on Israeli military outposts.

Worse still are the camps run by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. True, there are other options, but they are problematic as well:

Summer camps organized by the UN Relief Works Association (UNRWA) offer a popular alternative to those of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. . . . Hundreds of thousands of young Palestinians turn out to participate in such activities as swimming, painting, pottery, theater, dance, sports, lessons on life skills, and museum excursions.

[Although] UNRWA does not provide military training, the organization implicitly contributes to incitement, and its summer camps are no exception. . . . [T]he staff teaches young Palestinians that “Jews are the wolf” and “with God’s help and our own strength we will wage war. And with education and jihad we will return to our homes!”

Read more at Tower

More about: Gaza, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Politics & Current Affairs, UNRWA

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7