Hamas Distorts Facts On Recent Gaza Protest
The international news media is widely citing data released by Hamas-run health agencies in the Gaza Strip when reporting on the numbers of injuries at violent protests along the Israel-Gaza border.
The Hamas terrorist organization has a history of distorting casualty counts. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry claims that some 1,400 Palestinians were injured during protests Friday and Saturday, further claiming that over half of those numbers were wounded by live rounds fired by the Israel Defense Forces.
The Hamas numbers have been cited in headlines and news media coverage by major media organizations worldwide.
Israel says it has no way to independently verify the Hamas numbers. IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis accused Hamas of exaggerating the casualty count and stressed that IDF information indicates only several dozen at most were wounded by live fire. Manelis explained that the remaining injuries were likely caused by tear gas and other riot dispersal methods.
Of the 16 Palestinians reportedly killed, the IDF says that 10 were members of Palestinian terrorist groups, publishing their names and jihadist positions.
Hamas itself provided evidence that it is cynically utilizing the cover of civilian demonstrators to attack Israel, thus drawing Israeli fire toward the crowds. On Saturday, Hamas released photographs of five members of its so-called military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades jihad unit, announcing they were among the 16 Gazans reportedly killed on Friday.
Hamas stated that the five jihadists were killed while taking part “in popular events side-by-side with their people.” In other words, the terrorists were killed most likely attempting to carry out attacks while surrounded by civilian protesters.
The IDF said the Hamas members disguised themselves among the civilian protesters.
According to the IDF, rioters on Friday threw firebombs and hurled rocks at soldiers, attempted to breach the Israeli border, attempted to damage the border fence, and opened fire on Israeli troops.
The IDF released scores of pictures capturing the violence, including Palestinians in the midst of attacking soldiers. The images demonstrate Israel’s need to use force to quell riots in which some Gazans are attempting to violently storm the border of a sovereign nation or attack soldiers.
How The Media Aid’s Hamas’s Objectives
Analysis: Hamas has been selling the mass protest movement as “return rallies”, marketing the fiction that Palestinians have a so-called right of return to the state of Israel.
Hamas, famous for its use of civilians as human shields, has in reality been cynically utilizing the Palestinian protesters to stir up tension along the Gaza border out of sheer desperation over its increasingly desperate predicament.
The Islamist terrorist group understands the Gaza population is frustrated that 11 years of Hamas rule has resulted in destructive wars – launched each time by Hamas itself – and an economy dangerously teetering on the brink of collapse. Hamas’s decision to turn Gaza into a terrorist enclave has prompted an Israel-Egypt boycott that has impacted all aspects of Gaza life, although Israel allows for truckloads of humanitarian goods and supplies per day to enter Gaza.
Gazan’s are also suffering from the Hamas-Fatah divide, with the rulers of the West Bank and Gaza Strip failing to reach a reconciliation agreement that would likely result in the flow of aid to Gaza.
Hamas views Israel’s upcoming 70th anniversary and President Donald Trump’s historic decision to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as perfect opportunities to channel Gazans anger and redirect the rage toward the easiest target – Israel.
Hamas knows the ensuing casualty count will bring international news media attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and it will thrust the issue to the forefront of the foreign policy debate.
The border clashes may also press Egypt into easing the blockade and putting Egyptian pressure on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party to reach a reconciliation deal since Gaza tensions usually favor the jihadists operating against Egypt in the Sinai. Abbas must fear that the protests could spread to the West Bank and threaten his rule there.
Lastly, Hamas may also be signaling to Iran and to other potential state patrons that Hamas is still the dominant player in Gaza and that it is useful to financially support the terrorist movement once again.
In failing to provide the full context for the deadly border riots, the news media are unwittingly helping Hamas achieve its objectives.
Geraldo Rivera Regrets Not Backing The Intifada
Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera declared that he regrets not backing the Palestinians during their Second Intifada against Israel.
Rivera was interviewed on Friday on Fox News’s The Five about his memoir, The Geraldo Show. He was asked if there was any news story that he regretted doing.
I regret in 2002 backing down from backing the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel. The Second Intifada. Because I saw with my own eyes how. And I know how this is going to resonate very poorly with the people watching right now. But still, I have to tell you how I feel. I saw at firsthand how those people were. And now you said 14, 15 people killed in Gaza. Palestinians killed by the IDF forces. I saw what an awful life they live under constant occupation and oppression.
And people keep saying, “Oh, they are terrorists. Or they are this or they are that.” They are an occupied people and I regret chickening out after 2002 and not staying on that story and adding my voice as a Jew, adding my voice to those counseling a two-state solution. It is so easy to put them out of sight, out of mind. And let them rot. And be killed. And keep this thing festering. And I think a lot of our current problems stem from – that’s almost our original sin. Palestine and Israel. I want a two-state solution…
The Second Palestinian Intifada, or Palestinian “uprising” against Israel, was a campaign of terrorism in which the Palestinians carried out scores of suicide bombings and shooting attacks targeting Israelis. Over 1,100 Israelis were murdered in the onslaught.
Rivera said he regrets not backing the Second Palestinian Intifada, claiming Palestinians are living under “occupation.” He complained that he should have done more to push the so-called two-state solution, which calls for a Palestinian state.
Rivera failed to note the timeline of the Second Intifada, which started in 2000. It was launched after PLO Leader Yasser Arafat rejected U.S.-brokered talks at Camp David in which the Palestinians were offered a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and eastern Jerusalem, with control over mosques on the Temple Mount. When Arafat rejected the far-reaching offer, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak attempted to continue the talks in Taba, Egypt, but Arafat turned down the continued statehood offers.
The Second Intifada was not launched because Israel rejected the two-state solution. It was started after Arafat walked away from multiple statehood offers made during the course of numerous peace talks.