May 15, 2018
- Behind the Riots in Gaza – Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser
The “March of Return” is a declaration by the Palestinians that they are not ready to change their goal: the annihilation of Israel and its replacement by a Palestinian state. Even after Israel entirely withdrew from Gaza in 2005, most Palestinians were more interested in the battle against Israel than having better living standards for themselves. The first response must be a call to the Palestinians to conduct a reality check. They do not have the right to “return” and destroy Israel, and they will not be permitted to do so.
Those people who claim they want to “return” are not refugees. They are Palestinians living in Palestinian territory under a Palestinian government that denies them the ability to have a better life and better housing because of its commitment to the struggle against Zionism.
The real story of what is actually happening along the fence is terror activists from Hamas, guided and motivated by the Hamas leadership, are mobilizing brain-washed youth and using children and women as human shields as they seek to destroy the security fence. They knowingly ignore the security agreements between Israel and the Palestinian authorities that prohibit approaching the fence. The Palestinians know there are going to be casualties, and they embrace them because it helps build their victimhood narrative and fits their radical Islamist belief.
Some present the violent riots as if they are motivated by the poor economic conditions created by Israel. If this was the reason, Palestinians would have not destroyed the Kerem Shalom border crossing and chosen Nakba Day for their riots. The writer is former head of the IDF Military Intelligence Research Division and a fellow at the Jerusalem Center. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)