Sustained violence in protests along a series of staging points on the Gazan border with Israel has been deliberately orchestrated by Hamas, the terror group with political control of Gaza.
Under hashtags such as #instructionsforparticipants, explicit directions were posted on social media to the ‘Youth of the Revolution’ about assembly points, movements, and weapons to be used.
The objectives of the so-called ‘March of Return’ included penetrating the border fence, and capturing or killing Israeli Defence Force (IDF) personnel and Israeli civilians resident in the vicinity.
Hamas intended to continue the border violence until the seventieth anniversary of Nakba Day — Catastrophe Day — the day following Israel’s declaration of independence in May 1948.
But Hamas has tricked the international community into thinking the ‘peaceful’ protests are solely in response to President Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In reality, as Colonel Richard Kemp, a former British army commander, has said, the protests are carefully planned operations aimed at breaching the Israeli border and committing mass murder.
Hamas’s strategy has “no viable military purpose but seeks to deceive the international community into criminalizing a democratic state defending its citizens,” Kemp says.
Needless to say, the response of the IDF has provoked international condemnation — especially because of the use of ‘live’ fire. Some sixty people have been killed and thousands more injured.
Yet Hamas pushed the protesters towards the border under cover of smoke from burning tyres knowing full well that Israel — which issued warnings — would not allow the fence to be breached.
In Sydney last week, Peter Lerner, a retired IDF officer, acknowledged the high price of preventing border incursions. The IDF has now set up a board of inquiry to investigate the deaths.
Lerner warned of a “looming humanitarian crisis” in Gaza. Hamas takes aid money — including US$80m (AU$106m) each year from Iran — and builds tunnels instead of schools and hospitals.
Yet no protest issues from human rights advocates about this truly criminal disdain for human life. Meanwhile, the impoverished people of Gaza slide deeper into poverty, disease, and despair.
Peter Kurti is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies
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