Vast Majority of Palestinian Fatalities in Gaza Riots Were Affiliated With Terror Groups, Study Finds
Around 83 percent of the Palestinians killed on the Israel-Gaza Strip border during the recent Hamas-orchestrated “Great Return March” riots have been identified as members of terrorist groups, according to a new Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) report.
A majority (63) of the 112 fatalities from March 30-May 15 were from Hamas, which rules Gaza, while 21 were affiliated with Fatah.
“The high percentage of Hamas operatives who were killed during the events of May 14 and in the previous events once again demonstrated Hamas’s central role in planning and controlling the events,” the ITIC report said. “In the ‘front line’ of the violent demonstrations, 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.”
“In the ITIC’s assessment, the large number of casualties among the operatives is primarily a result of Hamas’s central role in the events, and senior Hamas figures do not bother to hide this,” the report continued. “Hence the Palestinian propaganda message that these were ‘popular’ demonstrations carried out in ‘peaceful ways’ is a false message that the Palestinians have managed to convey to many countries around the world, including Western countries.”
The ITIC also warned that, for Hamas, “the violent riots and demonstrations have not yet exhausted their inherent political and propaganda benefits.”
“Senior Hamas figures call on their operatives and the entire Gazan public to continue the riots and even to die as shaheeds,” the ITIC noted. “Yahya Sinwar, head of the Hamas Political Bureau in the Gaza Strip, said that ‘special events’ would take place on Naksa Day (June 5, the day of the defeat of the Arab states in the Six Day War) and on Jerusalem Day (June 8, support events for Palestinians initiated by Iran). 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.”