Gaza is Not ‘Occupied’ – Hamas Terror Group Controls It

It is getting a little hard to understand the extreme criticism directed towards Israel for the events occurring at the border with the Gaza Strip.

Starting in March, Hamas, the U.S.-designated terrorist organization that runs the Gaza Strip, has directed its fanatics, and many Gaza civilians, to charge into battle at the border with Israel. Palestinian Arabs, tens of thousands of them, have been sent to 13 points along the Israeli border. These “civilians” are often armed with wire cutters, slingshots, knives, firearms, and/or bombs which they have used against the Israeli troops. The Israelis have responded with tear gas, rubber bullets, and, eventually rightly so, regular bullets.

Hamas wins regardless of what happens. Either the individuals who charge at the border are killed by the Israelis, giving Hamas a propaganda victory, or they break through the fence and murder/harm some Jews with their weapons or use their kites to spark fires or cause explosions in Israel. The Hamas leadership calls these demonstrations the “March of Return,” admit they aren’t meant to be peaceful, and say the ultimate goal of the protests is to liberate “Palestine (i.e., all of Israel and Judea and Samaria).” It has also boasted in the past that the Palestinian people have made death into an industry, and women, the elderly, and children all excel at being “human shields.” None of this should be surprising to any observer, since Hamas is a jihadist group whose charter calls for the murder of all Jews, and Hamas television teaches the Palestinian Arab children to “kill all Jews.”

112 Gazan Arabs have been killed so far. No Israelis have died.

Importantly, Hamas leadership has admitted that at least 50 of the 62 Palestinian Arabs killed were actually Hamas terrorists. And a study has shown that 93 of the 112 casualties were terrorist operatives or affiliated with terrorists.

Needless to say, the UN and much of the world have focused all of their ire on Israel, and not Hamas. The UN human rights chief has claimed that Israel used “wholly disproportionate” force. The UN Human Rights Council has voted 29-2 with 14 abstentions to back a resolution that condemned “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians.” They have also mandated that there be an “independent, international commission of inquiry” to produce a final report in March of 2019. Only the U.S. and Australia voted against this resolution. Seemingly every celebrity or faux celebrity has tweeted their outrage at the Israelis for the mounting death toll in Gaza.

 The whole thing is rather tiresome, if you ask me. The arguments made by critics of Israel no longer make much sense, if they ever did in the first place.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, Hamas and the Gaza Strip are not under Israeli “occupation.” First of all, under former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in 2005, the Israeli troops left the Gaza Strip, which is now controlled completely by Hamas (which even ousted the Palestinian Authority in 2007). Second, even before that, “occupation” has a definite legal term, which does not match either the Gaza Strip (before or after the Israelis left) or the West Bank. Legally speaking, these are “‘disputed territories’ to which both Israelis and Palestinians have claims,” as the U.S. has acknowledged.

So, all of those critics babbling about “occupation” are totally wrong.

Likewise, the idea that Israel has acted in a “disproportionate” and “indiscriminate” manner because there are over a hundred Palestinian Arab casualties, but no dead Israelis, is simply not true. “Proportionality in international law is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about [equality of] firepower. Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity.” Further, in contrast to the claim that they are firing indiscriminately, the Israelis have bent over backwards to avoid killing any attackers, first trying to keep the protesters away by multiple methods, using tear gas, and warning shots. It has been only after every other method has failed that the Israelis have fired directly on the protesters.

Protesters, I want to reiterate, that are armed and dangerous.

Also, contrary to critics of Israel, this has nothing to do with the U.S. decision to move the Embassy to Jerusalem. The demonstrations began long before that happened; in March. Saying otherwise is just an excuse to attack the current administration by its political opponents, who opposed the Embassy move.

Hamas is a bloodthirsty terror group, which hates Jews. It is trying to do what terror groups normally do — terrorize and kill its enemies. This should be obvious by now. The facts are all out in the open, for anyone to see (or Google).

Any other version of this story, whether peddled by The New York Times or U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, is just more “fake news.”

Originally published: https://www.newsmax.com/adamturner/gaza-israel-palestinians-hamas-terror/2018/05/31/id/863383/

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

About the author  ⁄ Adam Turner

Adam Turner is the General Counsel & Legislative Affairs Director for the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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