The vast majority of Palestinians killed during the months-long violent clashes on the Gaza border were connected to terror organizations.
By: United with Israel Staff
At least 93 of the 112 Palestinians killed during Gaza border riots over the past nine weeks were either members of, or affiliated with, terror organizations.
The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) compiled a report, based on an examination of the names of the Palestinian fatalities on an individual basis, which showed that about 83 percent of those killed in the Hamas-led March of Return were terror operatives.
Using the list of names released by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip and information obtained from social media and other open sources, the ITIC compiled a list of 112 Palestinian casualties and established their links to terrorism.
Sixty-three of the fatalities were from the Hamas terror organization, with only 21 fatalities linked to Fatah, revealing its minor impact on the events.
The other terror organizations, including Islamic Jihad which lost four terrorists, did not play a significant role, perhaps due to acknowledgement that the “March of Return” was a Hamas “project,” the ITIC explained.
The organizational affiliation of the 19 other fatalities remained unknown to the ITIC. It may be assumed that they were either Hamas operatives or possibly civilians who did not officially belong to any terror group.
The ITIC’s findings, which indicate Hamas’ central role, are consistent with the figures provided by two senior Hamas figures.
Hamas official Salah Bardawil said that 50 of the 62 who were killed on May 14, the bloodiest day of the clashes, belonged to Hamas. He added that in the events that took place up to that date, 50 percent of the fatalities were Hamas operatives.
Yahya Sinwar, head of the Hamas Political Bureau in the Gaza Strip, also said that on May 14, Hamas had over 60 Shaheeds, Muslim casualties who died fighting “infidels,” and that “other 20 wounded are expected to die at any moment.”
The ITIC report stressed that such statements by senior Hamas officials clearly demonstrate the terror group’s central role organizing and orchestrating the violence.
Not ‘Popular’ or ‘Peaceful’ Events
“The ‘return marches’ were not ‘popular,’ ‘peaceful’ events, as falsely presented by Palestinian propaganda, but rather a Hamas strategic move accompanied by pre-planned violence,” the ITIC determined.
There were also Hamas operatives in civilian clothes who played a central role in the acts of violence and attempts to break into the sovereign territory of the State of Israel. These operatives were “protected” by women and children who were sent by Hamas to the front line to serve as human shields, the report added.
Hamas staged the riots to achieve political and propaganda objectives related to raising international awareness of the the so-called Palestinian “right of return,” and retraining the Arab world’s focus on this issue.
The ITIC’s findings also clearly demonstrate that IDF soldiers did not shoot indiscriminately at innocent residents, but instead hit terrorist operatives.
“These operatives were the dominant factor among those in the front line who tried to break into Israeli territory,” the ITIC underscored.
In the ITIC’s assessment, as far as Hamas is concerned, the violent riots and demonstrations have not yet exhausted their political and propaganda benefits.
The “National Authority for the Great Return March,” serving as a front for Hamas, called on the Gazan public to continue the marches on Friday, May 25, under the slogan “continuing despite the siege.”
Sinwar said that “special events” would take place on Nakba Day (June 5), the day the Arab states were defeated in the Six Day War, and on Jerusalem Day (June 8), in tandem with events initiated by Iran in support of the Palestinians.
“Therefore, it can be assumed that in the weeks ahead, Hamas will continue to sacrifice the lives of its operatives, civilians and other terrorist operatives, while encouraging and fueling the political and propaganda campaign being waged against Israel,” the ITIC concluded.
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