Children attending an Islamic jihad-run kindergarten in Gaza celebrated their graduation by dressing up in army uniforms, waving rifles and chanting anti-Israel slogans, an Israeli online daily reported late Tuesday.
At a ceremony attended by the children’s parents and relatives, most of whom affiliate themselves to Islamic Jihad or Palestinian political factions, the children were dressed up in uniforms of the Islamist group’s armed wing -- al-Quds Brigades -- and each of them received a toy rifle, Israel’s Ynet reported.
“It is our obligation to educate the children to love the resistance, Palestine and Jerusalem, so they will recognize the importance of Palestine and its enemy,” the kindergarten’s director was quoted as saying.
One of the teachers was quoted as saying that the school wants the youngsters to “grow up to love the resistance and serve the cause of Palestine and jihad.”
During the ceremony, the children acted out different roles and demonstrated how Israeli troops treat Palestinian prisoners.
Handcuffed children depicting inmates were placed in cages, with an Israeli guard standing nearby, Ynet reported. Other groups of children were asked to stand next to mock coffins draped with flags of the various armed factions, bearing the images of martyrs.
Some children were quoted by Ynet as saying that they will join the Islamic Jihad when they grow up.
“I’ll fight the Zionist enemy and fire missiles at it until I die as a shaheed [martyr] and join my father in heaven … I want to blow myself up on Zionists and kill them on a bus in a suicide bombing,” Hamza, a child who took part in the display, was quoted as saying.
Another child portrayed an Israeli guard who was torturing a Palestinian prisoner, depicted by another child. The guard put the prisoner’s head in a bucket full of water, to show the amount of torture the Palestinian prisoners have to endure on the hands of the Israeli troops.
The Islamist Hamas group , which controls the Gaza Strip, maintains a tacit truce with Israel, but other Palestinian groups in the territory reportedly fire rockets occasionally across the border. Israel often responds by bombing Gaza by fighter jets.
(Written by Abeer Tayel)