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Hamas’ Aim Is to Attack and Kidnap Israeli Civilians

Hamas has today (May 16, 2018) admitted that 50 of the 62 people killed in the border violence this week were its members, while more are already confirmed members of Islamic Jihad.

Organizers of the violence had already set out their intentions clearly, saying unequivocally “this is not peaceful resistance.”

I am asking you to take the organizers of this confrontation at their word. Orchestrated by Hamas, approximately 40,000 rioters gathered at the border and several thousand tried to storm into Israel at 13 locations. The campaign’s title “March of Return” reflects Hamas’ aim: to break the border fence and storm Israeli towns in order to attack and kidnap Israeli civilians. The closest Israeli communities are only half a mile away from the border. Israeli soldiers are successfully defending the border from what could lead to a successful breach of the fence. In this way, Israel acts as any sovereign nation would be expected to.

Israel made relentless efforts to prevent the masses from violently breaching the border. These included early warnings by leaflets, direct phone calls, radio and social media in Arabic, as well as non-lethal means.

Inversely, Hamas is taking steps to further worsen the situation of their own people, as a play for international condemnation of Israel. Just today, Hamas turned back aid trucks containing medical supplies which Israel donated. The supplies already entered Gaza; however despite the health situation, Hamas has refused the humanitarian aid and returned it to Israel. This happened today, a week after the Kerem Shalom aid crossing has been sabotaged and gas pipes blown up multiple times, in an attempt to bring about full chaos.

These are fundamental issues at the very core of the current violence. The way the events this week have been framed unfortunately do not do justice to the realities of both Israelis and Palestinians.

Almog Elijis, Spokesperson and Consul for Media Affairs

Consulate General of Israel New York

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