GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- A graduation ceremony was held in a downtown Gaza park Thursday night, complete with proud parents taking videos. But it wasn't a high school event -- despite how young some of the boys are. It was the latest class trained by Hamas to kill Israelis.
Almost everyone lost friends or family in a war overseen by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His re-election has convinced many in Gaza that another war is inevitable. As a result Hamas training camps across Gaza are busy.
Hamas won't say how many thousands of men it has, but some here estimate as many as half of Gaza's teenaged boys want in. Mohamad, 18, and his 16-year-old twin brothers Hussain and Awad are newly trained. All three say if war were to break out with Israel tomorrow, they'd be ready to fight, though they've only had a week of training.
Awad says his desire to fight comes from what he saw in the last war.
"I had friends killed," Awad said. "So many savage things done by the Israelis. I must share the coming fight."
And if these eager boys are killed, it won't end there as we discovered when we met baby Adnan. His mother Tachreed told us if there if there is another conflict, she will raise Adnan to attack Israel. The cycle of war will go on.
A top Hamas official admitted to us that Israel's blockage against Gaza has slowed the resupply of everything from basic necessities to arms. That may explain why enthusiasm from new recruits is so high, but their training is so short.