- Children and teenagers, who are often used as cannon fodder by the Palestinian terrorist organizations, are brought up in an environment instilling in them deep-rooted hatred and indoctrinating them with the “armed struggle consensus” against Israel. Part of this consensus is the portrayal of martyrs (shahids), including suicide bombers who perpetrated acts of murder in Israeli population centers, as role models and objects of admiration.
- Palestinian children absorb these messages at home; during games with their friends; in mosques; through television broadcasts; through the education system (both formal and informal – such as summer camps); and by a wide variety of other means. Those children and teenagers, who grow up in a culture glorifying suicide bombing attacks and encouraging them to become martyrs themselves, form the cadre of the Palestinian terrorists who perpetrate their deadly missions against Israel.
- A commonplace method to indoctrinate children with these violence-oriented messages is creating school notebooks and scrapbooks reflecting the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli violent confrontation and commemorating the Palestinian martyrs. These notebooks and scrapbooks are created both as schoolwork as well as on the students’ own initiative to express their deep feelings of admiration toward the martyrs, their cultural-political heroes. In this information bulletin, we have chosen to present the main aspects of several such school notebooks and scrapbooks seized during the last two years by the IDF in the Palestinian Authority administered territories.
- This information bulletin contains six appendices:
- Appendix A. A student’s notebook, probably from the Gaza Strip, containing newspaper clippings and photographs of martyrs (shahids) who died in the course of the ongoing violent confrontation. The notebook, dated 2002, is probably an assignment on the “liberation of Palestine” that the student handed in during his studies. The notebook also contains newspaper clippings and handwritten references to various “cultural-political heroes,” mostly to Yasser Arafat. The notebook contains slogans, poems, and various verses from the Quran as well.
- Appendix B. A geography notebook of a 10th grade student named Mahmoud al-Ma’ari of the Abu Yusuf al-Najjar school (a high school for boys in Rafah, the southern part of the Gaza Strip). While the contents of the notebook are indeed related to the geography of Greater Palestine (completely ignoring the existence of Israel), illustrations of an assault rifle, a hand grenade and a rocket appear in the beginning of the notebook, while reflections on sacrificing one’s life for the sake of Allah appear on its last pages.
- Appendix C. An English notebook actually dedicated to the glorification of martyrs from all the Palestinian terrorist organizations: Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and mostly Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. The notebook belongs to an 8th grade student from a junior high school for boys, probably in the Gaza Strip.
- Appendix D. Memorial scrapbook for martyrs: a calendar of Cairo Amman Bank turned by a Palestinian boy into a memorial scrapbook dedicated to martyrs (shahids) who died in the West Bank (mostly in Jenin) during the years 1992-2001. Some of the martyrs were killed in suicide bombings, including in Israel proper, while some died in targeted killings or clashes with IDF troops. The martyrs are members of various Palestinian terrorist organizations: Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and more.
- Appendix E. A student’s notebook called “The Star Team: The martyrs [shahids] of Kalandia refugee camp, Jerusalem.” This work features praise of martyrs, including their photographs and posters, Fatah symbols, flags of Palestine, and images of Israeli soldiers and their weapons. There are no indications to the date of the notebook; however, the martyrs featured therein died during 2001-2002. Likewise, there are no details on the author of the work, but it is our assessment that it was a teenage female student from one of the last grades of elementary school or the early grades of junior high school. The notebook was originally used by one of the Palestinian schools administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (U.N.R.W.A).
- Appendix F. The Intifada Album: this elegant album is produced by a commercial company in Nablus and sold for a symbolic sum of half a New Israeli Shekel (NIS), i.e., about 10 cents. Children buy the albums and purchase packs of pictures to be pasted inside. The images depict events that occurred in the course of the ongoing violent confrontation, with an emphasis on glorifying martyrs (shahids) so as to turn them into role models for the young generation of Palestinians.