HAMAS’ “MARCH OF RETURN” IS PART OF PALESTINIAN PLAN TO DESTROY ISRAEL Posted on April 2, 2018 Palestinians: A March to Destroy Israel: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Apr. 2, 2018— On March 30, an attempt by tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to infiltrate the border with Israel launched a six-week campaign of mass protests… Just in Case Anybody Forgot What Hamas’s ‘March of Return’ is Really All About: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, March 31, 2018— Just in case anybody forgot, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the pre-1967 lines in 2005. Hamas is an Abysmal Failure: Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar, BESA, Mar. 28, 2018— When the “Islamic Resistance Movement” – or Hamas, as it is better known by its Arabic acronym – took over Gaza in 2007… Palestinians: Why Hamas Will Not Disarm: Khaled Abu Toameh, Breaking Israel News, Mar. 27, 2018— Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is living in an illusion if he thinks that his rivals in Hamas would ever agree to lay down their weapons or cede control over the Gaza Strip. On Topic Links Myths and Facts: Gaza’s Deadly “Protests”: Daniel Pomerantz, Honest Reporting, Apr. 1, 2018 The Palestinian ‘March of Return’ Explains a Lot: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Mar. 30, 2018 Why Did Hamas Conduct a Wide-Scale Military Exercise in Gaza?: Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, Mar. 29, 2018 The Narrative: Vic Rosenthal, Jewish Press, Mar. 27, 2018 PALESTINIANS: A MARCH TO DESTROY ISRAEL Bassam Tawil Gatestone Institute, Apr. 2, 2018 On March 30, an attempt by tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to infiltrate the border with Israel launched a six-week campaign of mass protests — called the “March of Return” — organized by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other radical Palestinian groups. The groups encouraged Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to head to the areas adjacent to the border with Israel. The protesters were also encouraged to try to infiltrate the border, thus putting their lives at risk. Hamas and its allies told the protesters that the “March of Return” marked the beginning of the “liberation of all of Palestine, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.” In other words, the Palestinians were told that infiltrating the border with Israel would be the first step toward destroying Israel. Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Yehya Sinwar, who joined the March 30 mass protests along the border with Israel, did not hide the real goal behind the “March of Return” — to destroy Israel and thwart US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East. The two Hamas leaders told the protesters that the March 30 demonstrations marked the beginning of a “new phase in the Palestinians’ national struggle on the road to liberating all of Palestine, from the river to the sea.” Haniyeh and Sinwar also made it clear that the “March of Return” had another goal: to foil any attempt by the Arabs to make peace or normalize their relations with Israel. Based on statements made by Hamas leaders, the “March of Return” campaign is not about improving the living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Nor is it about finding ways to solve the “humanitarian” and “economic” crises in the Gaza Strip. Hamas and its allies did not send the protesters to the border with Israel to demand jobs and medicine. They did not encourage Palestinians to risk their lives at the border with Israel because of the lack of electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip. Instead, the organizers sent the Palestinians to the border after assuring them that this was the only way to flood Israel with hundreds of thousands of Palestinian “refugees” as part of the “right of return.” The “right of return” refers to the Palestinian demand that Israel allow Palestinian “refugees” and their descendants to move to Israel. As Zaher Birawi, one of the organizers of the “March of Return” explained, “The right of return is sacred and a red line not to be crossed. The Palestinians will do their utmost to achieve this right.” His words, together with those of the two Hamas leaders, prove that the mass protests are aimed at forcing Israel to accept millions of Palestinian “refugees” as a first step towards turning Jews into a minority in their own country. The next step would be to kill or expel the Jews and replace Israel with an Islamic state. Crucial here is the fact that what we witnessed along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel on March 30 was not a protest by poverty-stricken and miserable Palestinians against a blockade of any kind. If that were so, why didn’t the organizers ask Palestinians to march toward the border with Egypt? The real blockade on the Gaza Strip is being imposed by Egypt, and not Israel. In 2017, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was open altogether for less than 30 days; by contrast, the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip was open for more than 280 days during the same year. Israel enforces a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip that is meant to prevent Iran, Hezbollah and other terror parties from smuggling weapons into the coastal enclave controlled by Hamas. At the same time, Israel has kept its border crossings with Gaza for the movement of goods and individuals. Israel permits Palestinians to enter and leave the Gaza Strip through the Erez border crossing. Last month, the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister entered the Gaza Strip through the Erez border crossing, only to have his convoy targeted by a roadside bomb once inside Hamas-controlled Gaza. Israel also allows foreigners to enter the Gaza Strip through the same border crossing. They include journalists, diplomats, and hundreds of foreigners working for various international aid agencies, including the United Nations. All this while the Rafah border crossing with Egypt remains closed. Since the beginning of this year, the Egyptians opened the border crossing intermittently only for two or three days each time. Egypt also continues to bar foreigners from entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah terminal. Even Arabs who want to help the people of the Gaza Strip are forced to enter through the Erez border crossing because the Egyptians do not give them permission to use the Rafah terminal. Take, for example, the Qatari envoy to the Gaza Strip, Ambassador Mohammed Al Emadi. Each time he leaves and enters the Gaza Strip, he uses the Erez border crossing with Israel. The Egyptians will not allow him or any other Arab seeking to help the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to enter through the Rafah terminal. Given this reality, the question is: Why aren’t the Palestinian protests directed against Egypt? The answer is obvious. The Palestinians know that messing with the Egyptian army will cost them a heavy price. If Israel used snipers to stop the March 30 protesters from crossing the border, the Egyptian response would undoubtedly have been much tougher. The Egyptians would have used artillery and warplanes against the Palestinian demonstrators. The Palestinians are well aware that the Egyptian army would raze the entire Gaza Strip if the Palestinians breached the border and undermined Egypt’s national security. Besides, the “March of Return” is intended as part of the Palestinian national struggle against the “Zionist entity” — Israel — and has nothing to do with the closure of any border. It is part of the Palestinian jihad (holy war) to eliminate Israel, which they see as a “colonialist project” imposed on the Arabs by Western powers after World War II. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in a rare moment of honesty, admitted earlier this year that this is precisely how Palestinians and Arabs perceive Israel. The organizers of the “March of Return” have made it clear that besides flooding Israel with millions of Palestinian “refugees,” the campaign has two other objectives: to foil Trump’s “deal of the century” and stop any form of Arab normalization with Israel. The Palestinians have proclaimed a wholesale rejection of Trump’s plan because they know it will not advance their goal of turning Jews into a minority in their own country. Trump’s plan, they believe, does not recognize the Palestinian “right of return,” which means that “refugees” and their descendants will not be allowed to move into Israel, turning it into an Arab-majority state. The organizers of the “March of Return” have clearly stated that this is a driving force behind the mass protests — to send a message to the Trump administration that Palestinians will not accept any deal that does not facilitate their dream of replacing Israel with an Arab Islamic state… [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.] Contents JUST IN CASE ANYBODY FORGOT WHAT HAMAS’S ‘MARCH OF RETURN’ IS REALLY ALL ABOUT David Horovitz Times of Israel, March 31, 2018 Just in case anybody forgot, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the pre-1967 lines in 2005. It uprooted thousands of Israeli settlers from their homes. It dismantled all military infrastructure in the Strip. It has no physical presence there. It makes no territorial claims there. Just in case anybody forgot, Hamas, an Islamist terrorist organization that avowedly seeks the destruction of Israel, seized power in Gaza in 2007 in a violent takeover from the forces of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Having attempted to terrorize Israel into capitulation with its strategic onslaught of suicide bombers in the Second Intifada, it has, since grabbing hold of Gaza, continued its efforts to terrorize Israel by firing thousands upon thousands of rockets indiscriminately across the border. Were it not for the Iron Dome rocket defense system, much of Israel would, as Hamas had hoped, have been reduced to rubble. Hamas has also been incessantly digging attack tunnels under the border — another terror avenue that Israel appears to have gradually been closing off with new technology and underground barriers. Just in case anybody forgot, Hamas has cynically and relentlessly exploited Gazans — a large proportion of whom have supported it in elections — by storing its rockets near or even inside mosques and schools, firing rockets from residential areas, and digging tunnels from beneath homes and civilian institutions. It has subverted all materials that can be utilized for the manufacture of weaponry, necessitating a stringent Israeli security blockade whose main victims are ordinary Gazans. Organizing and encouraging mass demonstrations at the border in the so-called “March of Return” to face off against Israeli troops, while sanctimoniously and disingenuously branding the campaign non-violent, is merely the latest iteration of Hamas’s cynical use of Gazans as the human shields for its aggression. Just in case anybody forgot, demanding a “right of return” to Israel for tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants is nothing less than a call for the destruction of Israel by demographic means. No Israeli government could accept this demand, since it would spell the end of Israel as a Jewish-majority state. Israel’s position is that Palestinian refugees and their descendants would become citizens of a Palestinian state at the culmination of the peace process, just as Jews who fled or were forced out of Middle Eastern countries by hostile governments became citizens of Israel. Just in case anybody forgot, the late prime minister Ariel Sharon oversaw the wrenching withdrawal from Gaza out of a declared desire to set Israel’s permanent borders, and did so unilaterally because he concluded that he could not reach a negotiated agreement with the Palestinian leadership. Had Gaza remained calm, and Sharon remained healthy, it is likely he would have ordered a pullout from much of the West Bank as well — paving the path to Palestinian statehood. The rise of Hamas to power in Gaza, three rounds of bitter conflict, and an awareness that Israel would be isolated and unable to function if Hamas were to take over in the West Bank — with every location nationwide, notably including the airport, within range of rudimentary rockets — have buried unilateralism and rendered Israelis consensually terrified at the prospect of relinquishing adjacent territory. Thus Hamas, which purports to serve the Palestinian interest, doomed the prospect of Palestinian independence for the foreseeable future. But Hamas, of course, is not interested in Palestinian independence. Again, it strives for the elimination of Israel. So, finally, just in case anybody forgets the context for Friday’s latest escalation of violence, they need only listen to Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar setting out the ultimate goal. As he put it in an address to Gazans at the border on Friday, “The March of Return will continue… until we remove this transient border.” The protests “mark the beginning of a new phase in the Palestinian national struggle on the road to liberation and ‘return’… Our people can’t give up one inch of the land of Palestine.” Contents HAMAS IS AN ABYSMAL FAILURE Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar BESA, Mar. 28, 2018 When the “Islamic Resistance Movement” – or Hamas, as it is better known by its Arabic acronym – took over Gaza in 2007, pundits theorized that once the group became responsible for drinking water, gasoline, electricity, employment, and food, it would have no choice but to become more moderate. These commentators predicted Hamas would soon prefer governing to jihad, exchange terror for state-running, develop political tools instead of tools of war, and adopt a political stance instead of one of armed conflict. They could not have been more wrong, because no Islamic terror organization abandons terror without being seen as abandoning Islam as well. In fact, what has happened is a self-immolating process that can only occur in Islamic societies. This process is a function of the collective belief shared by Islamic leaders that it is a religious obligation to stick to their political principles – and that any deviation from total allegiance to those principles will result in their falling victim to criticism from others whose religious image is more vivid and faith-based. Hamas wants to be considered a political organization, so it ran in the parliamentary elections in 2006, winning a majority of the seats. It is now gearing for presidential elections in which it hopes to take the seat of the president of the PA. Hamas’s problem is that it is caught between two contradictory roles. As a political organization it must adopt pragmatic patterns of behavior, including political negotiations with Israel. As a religious movement, it must adhere to the principle that forbids any deviation from the path dictated by Allah, who only allows his earthly representatives to talk to the Zionist infidels about technical issues such as transferring food, water, gasoline, electricity, and medical supplies. From the standpoint of Hamas, it is not so bad if Gaza Muslims suffer, because that is considered “bla’a,” one of the tests Allah presents to believers in order to determine whether or not they deserve a passport to Paradise. This explains why Hamas is so ready to sacrifice hundreds and even thousands of innocent civilians in every military encounter with Israel. It also explains why the Arab world media present – often successfully – such events as victories for Hamas and defeats for Israel. The price for this kind of “victory” is paid by ordinary Gazans, whose family members are dead or wounded and who have to live with a shattered infrastructure. These people are not in the Hamas camp on this issue because they are much less extreme than those who have taken over their lives. The religious conceptual framework prevents Hamas from giving in to the Jews or from doing anything that might be interpreted as giving in to them, including freeing prisoners or the bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers who are in Hamas hands or even providing information about them. It is understood that Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul are sadly not among the living, but Hamas spokesmen continue to refuse to divulge any details about the two, including providing confirmation of their deaths. From a religious standpoint, Hamas is mired in a dark and dismal swamp. Over the 1,400 years since the dawn of Islamic history, there have been Muslim regimes that treated strangers with respect, refrained from attacking countries more powerful than they, and cared about the economic conditions of their subjects. Hamas is light years away from this type of rule. It is not only uninterested in improving the health, education, and living standards of the people of Gaza, but it takes step after step to create a picture of suffering and want in order to squeeze donations from the international community. Another element that might spare Gaza further armed confrontation with Israel – which would come at the expense of ordinary citizens’ lives, not those of Hamas leaders and their families, whose underground bunkers protect them – is the readiness of Hamas to conduct a prisoner exchange with Israel. Yihye Sinwar, the current Hamas leader freed in the Shalit deal, knows Israel will not free over 1,000 prisoners in exchange for corpses, but is under pressure from Hamas prisoners and their families. He is finding it almost impossible to reach a deal that results in fewer prisoners being freed than were released during his exchange. Hamas is making use of all kinds of mantras to justify its obstinate policy: “We will not cowtow to the Zionist entity on anything!” “We will not give the Zionists any free information!” “We will continue to struggle for a Palestine from the river to the sea!” No one on the Gaza street believes these mantras anymore. Nor do they put their faith in those who post them on the internet or on satellite stations. Hamas does everything it can to publicize the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza, but neglects to mention that the situation there is a direct result of the way it has governed over the past decade. The organization has been given billions of dollars by Qatar, by the donor states, and by international groups that do not follow up on what happens to their donations. It is also the recipient of taxes taken off salaries. What does it do with the money? Has it built schools? Hospitals? Factories? Infrastructure? None of the above… [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.] Contents PALESTINIANS: WHY HAMAS WILL NOT DISARM Khaled Abu Toameh Breaking Israel News, Mar. 27, 2018 Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is living in an illusion if he thinks that his rivals in Hamas would ever agree to lay down their weapons or cede control over the Gaza Strip. Hamas has no intention of dismantling its military and security apparatus. It also does not have any intention of allowing Abbas’s security forces to be stationed in the Gaza Strip. This refusal is why the “reconciliation” deal that Abbas signed with Hamas in Cairo in October 2017 will never be translated into facts on the ground. Hamas is prepared to give Abbas anything he wants in the Gaza Strip except for security control. Hamas has no problem allowing Abbas and his government to function as a “civil administration” in the Gaza Strip by providing funds and various services to government institutions there. If Abbas wants to pay salaries to civil servants in the Gaza Strip, that is fine with Hamas. If he wants to pay for fuel, water and electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip, that is also fine with Hamas. Security control, however, is the last thing Hamas wants from Abbas. For Hamas, security is a red line not to be crossed. What is behind Hamas’s fierce opposition to relinquishing security control over the Gaza Strip? Hamas wants to retain its weapons and security control of the Gaza Strip for two reasons: first, it wants the weapons so that it can continue the “armed struggle” against Israel; second, Hamas knows that the moment it hands over security control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority (PA), many of its leaders and members will either be killed or imprisoned by Abbas’s security forces. Ahmed Bahr, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, described Abbas’s demand that Hamas dismantle its security and military apparatus as “idiotic.” In a sermon he delivered during Friday prayers at Al-Mahata Mosque in the central Gaza Strip on March 23, Bahr said that the issue of disarming Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups was “non-negotiable.” Hamas, he added, will not hand over its weapons to a Palestinian Authority government that conducts security coordination with Israel in the West Bank. “The weapons of the Palestinian resistance are legitimate weapons that will be used to restore our rights and liberate our lands,” the Hamas official said. “The armed struggle [against Israel] is a right guaranteed by international laws.” Bahr’s statements show that Hamas still does not trust Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, mainly because of their close security ties with Israel. For Hamas, security coordination with Israel is a form of treason, and there is no way Hamas would agree to cooperate with any Palestinian party that works with the Israelis. Hamas continues to accuse the PA security forces and Israel of jointly cracking down on its members in the West Bank. In a recent statement, Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority of arresting 10 of its members there. The arrests were carried out in the West Bank cities of Tulkarem, Nablus, Kalkilya, Hebron and Ramallah, according to Hamas. Among those taken into custody was a Palestinian journalist, Osama Shahin. Hamas said that two of the detainees have gone on hunger strike to protest their “illegal” incarceration. Hamas fears that many of its leaders and members will face the same fate if it allows Abbas’s security forces to deploy in the Gaza Strip. Those who are fortunate will only end up behind bars. Those who are less fortunate will be executed in public squares by Abbas loyalists. Hamas still has agonizing memories of the days between 1993 and 2007, when the Palestinian Authority was in control of the Gaza Strip. Then, many Hamas leaders and senior officials found themselves either in prison or under house arrest… [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.] Contents On Topic Links Myths and Facts: Gaza’s Deadly “Protests”: Daniel Pomerantz, Honest Reporting, Apr. 1, 2018—During the Passover weekend, some 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza approached the border with Israel and carried out a variety of violent activities in what they call the “Land Day Protests” or the “March of Return.” We’ve seen quite a bit of mishandled coverage, so here are the main myths and facts so you can better understand the situation and also speak up when you see inaccurate or biased media. The Palestinian ‘March of Return’ Explains a Lot: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Mar. 30, 2018—For some in the Palestinians’ international cheering squad, the March 30 “Land Day” demonstrations could be a long-hoped for turning point. If the massive protests planned for the Gaza border go off on Friday without violence, then the battle against Israel will, they hope, no longer be depicted as one primarily about terrorism. Why Did Hamas Conduct a Wide-Scale Military Exercise in Gaza?: Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, Mar. 29, 2018—On March 25, 2018, the Hamas movement’s military/terror wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, conducted a military exercise codenamed “The steadfast and defiant maneuvers.” The Narrative: Vic Rosenthal, Jewish Press, Mar. 27, 2018—Maybe arguments are not important. Maybe, as Jonathan Haidt… says, logical arguments are window dressing used to justify conclusions forced upon us by deep-seated emotional motivations. Maybe those who demand that we “free Palestine” on US campuses and UK streets simply disdain the Jewish people and their state. Maybe we should just tell them to go to hell and maintain our military deterrent capability.