And at least half of all Gazans killed in past several weeks were Hamas, he says, confirming prior independent reporting that almost all of the deaths were terror group members not innocent civilians.
The weekly attempts to breach the Israeli border fence by thousands of Gazans is portrayed in the media as a peaceful civilian protest. But it has been anything but peaceful, as we have documented numerous times.
Rather, these are military-style assaults using the cover of civilian protests. They are controlled by Hamas, which can turn the border fence surges on and off, and whose leaders appear at a safe distance from the fence to urge people to achieve martyrdom by rushing and tearing down the fence.
The purpose, of course, is not to merely tear down the fence, it’s to create a breach for terror operations and to kill and kidnap Israelis. When not speaking to western media, Hamas officials have been quite upfront about their intentions.
Senior Hamas Official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar on Gaza Protests: This Is Not Peaceful Resistance, It Is Supported by Our Weapons pic.twitter.com/aut0Q7SPD9
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 15, 2018
The result has been several weeks in which dozens of Gazans trying to breach the fence have been shot when they were not scared off by tear gas and other non-lethal means. Prior to the May 14 surge, there were an estimated 40 Gazans killed — that’s an estimate because the figures come from the Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry. Based upon the prior reported deaths, analysis showed that at least 80% of the dead were Hamas or other terror group members. That percentage might be higher, as it is based on confirmed identifications of terror group membership.
The significance of almost all of the dead being terror group members is that it puts the lie to the media narrative that Israel is deliberately shooting innocent civilians. How could it be that of tens of thousands of people who protest, and thousands who approach the border fence, almost all of those killed were Hamas or terror group members? It’s because these are not peaceful civilian protests, they are military operations and Israel has the right to respond as such.
On May 14, the day the U.S. Embassy opened in Jerusalem, Hamas prepared a particularly aggressive border assault. A team of 8 Hamas members were killed planting IEDs and firing weapons at the fence. Additionally, there was a border surge to cover these operations that resulted in another 50 deaths.
This is where the Givati Brigade troops encountered terror opertatives pic.twitter.com/U47FBs3ftU
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 15, 2018
This is what happened yesterday during the violent riots near the security fence along the Gaza border pic.twitter.com/ygTDntFE1T
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 15, 2018
In all, the Hamas health ministry is claiming 62 people were killed on May 14. That led to the usual media frenzy about Israel using “disproportionate” force and wantonly killing civilians, and the also usual virtue-signaling by self-identified “progressive Jews” who claimed to be ashamed.
The NY Daily News ran this despicable cover calling Ivanka Trump “Daddy’s Little Ghoul” for attending the Embassy opening while people were dying at the Gaza border.
But as before, the media narrative had given way to facts showing that Israel did not wantonly shoot innocent civilians.
As previously reported, Hamas and Islamic Jihad openly mourned the dozens of their members who were killed. Israeli analysis also identified at least 24 of the dead as Hamas or Islamic Jihad members.
Now we have even more proof. A Hamas official, interviewed on Arab TV, asserted that of the 62 killed, 50 were Hamas members. It’s unclear if he was referring to a specific head count he had, or an order of magnitude to show that almost all were Hamas members. In either case, his statement is consistent with what has been reported for earlier border clashes that almost all of those killed were terror group members.
Here is a clip of the section of the Hamas official statement provided by the IDF Spokesperson:
Senior Hamas official sets the record straight on who was killed in last Hamas-orchestrated riots: “50 of the 62 martyrs were Hamas”. Take his word for it. This was no peaceful protest.
Senior Hamas official sets the record straight on who was killed in last Hamas-orchestrated riots: "50 of the 62 martyrs were Hamas". Take his word for it. This was no peaceful protest. pic.twitter.com/oop2y3oWrB
— Jonathan Conricus (@LTCJonathan) May 16, 2018
(video clip also here)
MEMRI has a longer clip of that section:
Hamas Political Bureau Member Salah Al-Bardawil: 50 of the Martyrs Killed in Gaza were from Hamas, 12 Regular People pic.twitter.com/etPPGrsQo7
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 16, 2018
An Israeli reporter also notes that during the interview the Hamas official claimed that half of all those killed in the several week of border clashes were Hamas members. Again, that is consistent (perhaps on the low side) with what was previously reported.
Salah Al Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official: 50 of the 62 Palestinians killed in the last clashes were from Hamas. At least 50% of the Palestinians killed in last few weeks were from Hamas.
Salah Al Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official: 50 of the 62 Palestinians killed in the last clashes were from Hamas. At least 50% of the Palestinians killed in last few weeks were from Hamas. pic.twitter.com/blj5TWVNoh
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) May 16, 2018
In all, this is a repeat of what we always see in reporting on Hamas and Gaza. International media takes Hamas claims at face value as to innocent civilian losses, yet ignores other statements by Hamas and other evidence debunking those claims.
By the time the evidence comes out, the narrative has been set.
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