This tragic case demonstrates how the Hamas terror organization, which rules the Gaza Strip, exploits youth, putting them in mortal danger .
By: United with Israel Staff
On May 14, at the height of the Hamas-led riots held on Israel’s border with Gaza and the bloodiest day in the nine weeks of the “March of Return,” Saadi Abu Salah, 16, died.
He was one of 62 Palestinians, mostly terrorists, killed that day while storming Israel’s internationally recognized border.
Saadi’s ties with Hamas run deep. His father and uncle, affiliated with Hamas, had been imprisoned in Israel. Several of Sa’adi’s cousins are serving time in Israeli prison for acts of terrorism.
Despite his young age, the terror group sent him to the front lines near the border fence, where their operatives played a dominant role in the riots – a fact made obvious by the large number of Hamas fatalities in these violent clashes.
Saadi was given wire cutters in order to cut through the border fence in preparation for a mass infitration into Israeli territory, thus putting his life at risk. He was shot by IDF forces defending Israel’s border
His funeral was attended by Hamas officials and operatives, and his body was wrapped in a Hamas flag for burial.
Hamas held a memorial service for him two days later, during which a professionally produced, 14-minute video was screened about Saadi, lauding him as a “heroic Shaheed.”
The video, with a soundtrack of martial music, shows the boy burning tires, sabotaging the border security fence and clashing with IDF soldiers. Extensive footage of Saadi’s actions may indicate that a Hamas photographer had been following him and documenting his participation in the violent events while waiting for him to die.
In the video, a masked Palestinian terror operative from the so-called “tire and fence-cutting unit” reads a death notice, saying Saadi excelled at burning tires and cutting through the border fence.
Brainwashing Youth to Die
The dead teen’s father says in the clip that his son had always talked about his desire to become a Shaheed, a Muslim religious warrior who dies fighting the “infidel,” and he even prayed to Allah to grant him his wish.
Hamas’ cynical objective in this event was to brainwash other Palestinian youth to become the next Saadi Abu Salah, an Israeli think tank explained.
“Hamas’ objective was to glorify Saadi Abu Salah and turn him into a role model for other boys Hamas uses for its own purposes,” the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), which investigated the phenomenon, wrote.
The objective of the memorial was to show Saadi’s “courage, glorify him and turn him into a role model,” ITIC explained.
As’ad Abu Salah (Abu Fahmi), Saadi’s uncle, was imprisoned in Israel and released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal in 2011. Two of his sons are currently imprisoned in Israel.
In another report, ITIC points out that the incorporation of youth into the Hamas terror apparatus makes the distinction between civilians and combatants during warfare exceedingly difficult and could result in a rise in civilian casualties in a conflict.
The practice of pushing youth into the service of terror is reminiscent of Hamas’ use of human shields during warfare, which constitutes a war crime.