Skip to main content

CGJ Intern Update from Josue Casanova

Hi! My name is Josue Casanova, and I am interning at the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) in Jerusalem, Israel. JIJ is an organization that fights for human rights in Israel and the Middle East in general. So far I’ve been able to work on a project involving something I love: protecting children.

My project requires me to research how Hamas is allowing child labor in Gaza and otherwise using children for terrorism. Hamas is essentially an Islamic terrorist organization that took over Gaza and set itself up as the official government. Since Hamas has been in power, poverty in Gaza has skyrocketed, forcing underage children to work. Hamas has also been indoctrinating Gazan children to kill Jews and be suicide terrorists. Hamas indoctrinates Gazan children in a variety of ways, including through a Mickey Mouse-esque show where the kids talk about how disgusting Jews are, school plays where kids reenact the recent stabbing attacks against Israeli “security forces” and then “free Palestinian prisoners,” and annual summer camps where they give teens guns and give them actual military training.

So how do you hold a terrorist organization responsible for child labor and terrorism? Here’s where the loopholes come in. The people at JIJ realized that since Hamas has set itself up as the official government in Gaza, it doesn’t just have all the benefits of being a government; it has all the obligations too. Hamas has to provide sanitation, public safety, transportation….and yes, take steps to eliminate child labor and educate children to be tolerant of other races and religions, just like every other government in the world. Think of it like the Genie in Aladdin: “Ultimate Cosmic Power, itty-bitty living space.”

Through a couple other loopholes, Hamas could technically be bound by international law, so by not meeting these obligations it is breaking international law.

My job has been to read different United Nations Conventions, see which conventions would apply to this situation, and research what Hamas has been doing (or not doing) to see whether it has violated those conventions. Soon I am going to write a memo based on this research so JIJ is armed with this information and can access it quickly and easily when they need it.

This has been an amazing out of this world, totally unexpected experience.

Thanks for reading!

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice student intern.  The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.