It seems that once again, UN run summer camps for Gaza children are being targeted by extremists:

The head of United Nations relief operations in Gaza has deplored this morning’s attack on a recreational facility used by children in the territory, the second such incident in a month.

A group of about 25 armed and masked men attacked and set fire to the facility on the beach in Nuseirat that was being used to host the Summer Games, run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

No one was hurt in the incident, which follows a similar attack on 23 May when a group of 30 armed and masked men attacked and set fire to an UNRWA Summer Games facility that was under construction on the beach in Gaza City.

“Cowardly and despicable” is how John Ging, UNRWA’s Director of Operations in Gaza, described today’s attack. “The overwhelming success of UNRWA’s Summer Games has once again obviously frustrated those that are intolerant of children’s happiness,” he added.

Last time, apparently upset by the secular pedagogical approach of the camp (boys and girls play together!) attackers tied up a guard, set fire to the facility and left a note threatening UN officials in Gaza.  Hamas has traditionally let these camps operate unfettered–the attackers seem to have an even more hard line bent. When children’s summer camps have suddenly become politically charged things, you really have to worry that hard core extremists are gaining a stronger foothold in Gaza.    

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