EXCLUSIVE – Israel’s army recently found damning documents, video footage and photographs of Palestinian children used by two U.S.-designated terrorist organizations, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as trained fighters.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) told Fox News Digital that the material seized in Gaza’s Khan Younes during the ongoing war is recent and reveals “the involvement of minors in terrorist activities.”
The IDF added that a telling example of Hamas’ exploitation of Palestinian kids was, “The transfer of explosives from place to place in Gaza by children, in vegetable bags and placing them in the Hamas ambushes.”
Fox News Digital obtained video from the IDF that reveals for the first time a Hamas operative escorting children into a terrorist tunnel during a summer camp exercise.
Hamas invaded southern Israel on Oct. 7 and massacred 1,200 people, including more than 30 Americans, and kidnapped over 240 people.
The IDF told Fox New Digital that “Over 170 minors are active in the military wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip…children are taught by Hamas from a young age to hate Israel and Jews and already in schools, youth movements and summer camps, children undergo theoretical and practical military training.”
The number of 170 children is the current number of active minors compelled to aid Hamas terrorists, it was claimed.
According to the IDF, “During the fighting in the Gaza Strip, IDF soldiers found documents and photographs that reveal pictures of armed children, certificates of appreciation for the young terrorist operatives and active veterans associating them with the Hamas organization and Islamic Jihad. Today, over 170 minors are identified as terrorist operatives in the Gaza Strip.”
The IDF photographs obtained in Gaza and provided to Fox News Digital show Palestinian children and adolescents armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.
The images display children with Hamas terrorists and Arabic writings that glorify the jihadi Hamas ideology. One image showed children on a simulated tank in a Hamas training camp. Many of the pictures are from the camps.
Disturbing reports of Hamas’ abuse of Israeli children hostages surfaced in late November 2023. Hamas’ war against the Jewish state revealed that children seized by Hamas as hostages on Oct. 7 were drugged, beaten and branded.
Fox News senior strategic analyst Jack Keane recently told “FOX & Friends” Hamas’ child abuse means “These people are monsters.”
The IDF said “Hamas runs summer camps, in which the children learn to shoot weapons, attack from a tunnel, fight against tanks and kidnap soldiers. The camps are early stages for military training in Hamas and integration into the military wing.”
According to the United Nations website for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, a prohibition exists on the use of children as soldiers.
The previously non-reported IDF photographs of Palestinian children in combat gear reviewed by Fox News Digital show children under the age of 15. According to the U.N.’s website for Children and Armed Conflict, “Recruiting and using children under the age of 15 as soldiers is prohibited under international humanitarian law – treaty and custom – and is defined as a war crime by the International Criminal Court.”
The IDF said that “Hamas sends children for the purposes of delivering messages and ammunition. Also, children are sent to the battlefields after an attack in order to assess the damage and report it to the terrorists who are hiding in shelters.”
Israel’s army previously disclosed the investigation of a Hamas company commander in the “Zeytoun” battalion, who said children are used as part of the organization’s fighting doctrine to deliver ammunition “with the understanding that the IDF will not harm them.”
Hamas has a long history of engaging in alleged child abuse of Palestinian children to advance their terrorist agenda. The IDF’s website contains a section titled “Status of Children in Gaza” that shows photographs of children immersed in the glorification of terrorism.
Fox News Digital asked Juliette S. Touma, director of communications for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), what the U.N. agency is doing to stop Hamas’ exploitation of children. She declined to answer but said “we don’t have any information on what you are sharing” with respect to photographs and reports asserting that Hamas trains children to embrace terrorism and loathe Israel.
UNRWA is largely responsible for the education of children in Gaza and has faced accusations that some employees celebrated the October 7 massacre. UNRWA is also embroiled in a scandal about some students who attended U.N.-funded schools participated in the mass murder in Israel. The Biden administration has given UNRWA $1 billion of taxpayer money since 2021.
Spokespeople for the U.N.’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba told Fox News Digital they are working on providing a comment.
Fox News Digital press queries to the spokesman for U.N. Secretary General António Guterres were not immediately returned.