Hamas has spent years poisoning the hearts and minds of Palestinian children. The Islamist movement is now trying a new brainwashing tactic: exorcism.
The practice, which aims to cast out "demons" that might have wormed their way into the children's souls, has shocked many Palestinians.
This newest Hamas-perpetrated child abuse was exposed in a video that was leaked to Palestinian social media. The cruelty of the behavior has caused an uproar among Palestinians.
The video shows hysterical children in the company of exorcising preachers belonging to the Hamas-controlled Wakf (Islamic trust) Ministry in the Gaza Strip. This humiliating and invasive rite is being practiced at the Al-Nil School in Gaza City.
The preachers belong to a group called The Ship of Missionary Salvation. They enter schools in the Gaza Strip and ensure, through the exorcism rite, that the children are repentant and faithful to Islam.
The group is managed by the Wakf Ministry's General Administration for Preaching and Guidance.
Thriller movies come to mind as the video unfolds, shedding light on the nature of religious indoctrination performed by Hamas on schoolchildren in the Gaza Strip.
One of the Hamas preachers is heard in the video declaring that, "We did not come to enact a theater scene, but to expel the devil from the hearts and minds and enter the satisfaction of Allah into hearts."
The video features terrified teenagers kneeling in the school yard, while others are crying out loudly. At the same time, the Hamas preachers hold microphones and shout the Islamic battle cry, "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is Great!"]."
The Hamas abuse of schoolchildren is far from new, and far from a surprise to those who have long been following the Islamist movement in Gaza. These are the children who are later recruited as "warriors" in the jihad (holy war) against Israel and the "infidels."
Since its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas has been using children as human shields and "soldiers" in the fight against Israel. Children dressed in military uniforms and brandishing automatic rifles and knives have become an integral part of Hamas's military parades and rallies.
Caught on camera, Palestinian children are taught to hate those who are perceived as enemies of Islam. This is how new generations of Palestinians are raised on the glorification of suicide bombers and jihadists.
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi expressed revulsion over the video, noting that the preachers' sermons were full of intimidation and horror. This behavior, Ashrawi, stated, demonstrates the "reactionary nature" of the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip, which would have a negative impact on the development of society and the values of Palestinians. Ashrawi also denounced the practice as a blatant violation of conventions protecting children rights.
Even the Marxist terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), has come out against the video. The group voiced outrage at the "inhumane practices" against the children and called for an immediate inquiry into this form of mental torture and degradation. The group also warned against brainwashing the children and indoctrinating them through religious bigotry.
The Gaza City school video captures on camera the Palestinian leaders' brainwashing and abuse of their own children.
It also captures the march of Palestinian society towards endorsing the tactics and ideology of radical Islam and groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Now the peace process in the Middle East awaits an exorcism of its own.
Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.