A Saudi London-based daily on 15th September had reported that a group of Gaza schools were run by Hamas’s Dar Al-Arqam association. The reported stated that they used to receive aid from groups which eventually ceased. After the aid stopped, Hamas requested Qatar to provide them aid through other Hamas body or organizations. However, Qatar rejected the request.
Hamas officials established the Dar-Al-Arqam association in 2000. The association was operated by the late leader Sheikh Ahmad Yasin. He used to run four schools that used to receive Qatari funds for many years. Basically, children of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PJI) and Hamas agents who were killed during the battle with Israel attend these schools. The children who were part of this school were indoctrinated with Hamas ideology. Moreover, the founders were shown in a positive light and jihad against Israel was praised. The students are provided military training, which includes weapons training by Hamas officials.
Studies have shown that Qatar have provided their support to Dar Al-Arqam schools for many years. Even during an event, the head of Dar-Al-Arqam association applauded the Qatari Sheikh Eid bin Muhamamad Aal Thani for the support and also for sponsoring the orphans of the prisoners and martyrs. Even a daughter of a martyr praised the Qatari Sheikh Eid bin Muhammad Aal Thani Charitable Association for providing material and moral support to the Dar Al- Arqam schools.
Reports revealed that the Qatari government not only invested $50 million in projects in Palestine, which includes the Dar Al-Arqam, it even offered aid to more than 6000 Palestinian orphans. Although, the Qatari Sheikh Eid bin Muhammad Aal Thani Charitable Association tries to highlight itself as a charitable organization, there is enough hint of the fact that it has links with terrorism. One of the founders of the charitable association has been labeled as a global terrorist. Indirectly, it can be said that Qatar supports the weapon training given to the children studying in the Hamas School.
Although, the school tries to state that their main aim to develop a generation who would take the effort to spread Islam; however, the Dar Al-Arqam schools forms a part of the regime’s military recruitment and training tool. Members of Hamas’s security structure visit the schools and provide military training as part of the Futuwwa program. Hence, it is clear that Qatar is trying to push children into the world of terrorism.