Friday, May 27th | 26 Iyyar 5782

May 14, 2018 1:38 pm

Gaza ‘Peaceful Protests’ Are ‘Orchestrated Tactical Operations’ by Hamas Against Israel, Says UK Military Expert

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

IDF soldiers on patrol near a burning field on the Israeli side of the border between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

Six weeks of Palestinian demonstrations on the Israel-Gaza border have been deliberately engineered by Hamas to portray as a peaceful protest movement what has in fact been a military strategy to fatally undermine Israel, a leading international expert on counter-terrorism strategy said on Monday.

At least 43 Palestinian rioters were killed in clashes with Israeli troops on the Gaza border on Monday as the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem. “In reality these demonstrations are far from peaceful, but are carefully planned and orchestrated tactical operations by a terrorist organization intending to break through the border of a sovereign state and commit mass murder in the communities beyond, using their own civilians as cover,” Col. Richard Kemp — a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan — remarked in a new report on Gaza by the independent High-Level Military Group (HLMG).

The HLMG is comprised of former senior military officials and diplomats from around the world, including Iraq war veteran Lt.-Gen. Michael D. Barbero of the US, Gen. Klaus Dieter Neumann, former commander of the German armed forces, Lord Richard Dannatt, former commander of the British armed forces, and Lt. Gen. Kamal Davar, the former head of India’s Defense Intelligence Agency.

“Hamas’s use of actual smoke and mirrors to conceal its aggressive maneuvering on the Gaza border is the perfect metaphor for a strategy that has no viable military purpose but seeks to deceive the international community into criminalizing a democratic state defending its citizens,” Kemp wrote.

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As part of the HLMG’s ongoing project to assess the impact of Western armies facing enemies deploying terrorist tactics — including deliberate war crimes such as hiding military personnel and infrastructure among a civilian population — Kemp has been observing Palestinian activity and the IDF’s response on the Gaza border since the current spate of violence broke out on March 30.

The strategy pursued by Gaza’s Hamas rulers “includes creating situations which compel the IDF to respond with lethal force so that they are seen to kill and wound ‘innocent’ Palestinian civilians,” Kemp said.

“In some cases, including during the current wave of violence, we have seen Hamas present their fighters as innocent civilians; numerous fake incidents staged and filmed which purport to show civilians being killed and wounded by Israeli forces; and films of violence from elsewhere, eg. Syria, portrayed as violence against Palestinians,” Kemp continued.

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