Comment: Hamas planned and predetermined the tragedy in Gaza

The latest human tragedy on the Gaza-Israel border was not a surprise to those familiar with the region. The whole thing was planned in detail and choreographed by Hamas.

Its organizers did not conceal their intention of devising a scenario that would generate a high number of civilian casualties on the Palestinian side in order to rescue them from the political and economic dead-end of their Islamist movement, which took over Gaza from their rival, Fatah, a decade ago.

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Yahya Sinwar, the current leader of the Hamas movement in Gaza, admitted that the movement‘s leadership has failed to govern Gaza and enable its citizens to conduct normal life.

But Sinwar refrained from sharing with the world the fact that he and his colleagues in the Hamas leadership, who enjoy a comfortable life, prefer to turn Gaza into a military fortress while criminally neglecting the treatment of its civil society. Hamas avoided investing the resources funneled into Gaza into rebuilding the strip after the group dragged its residents into a military conflict with Israel in 2014.

In the vastly overpopulated Gaza Strip, a high number of casualties is almost always guaranteed in any small or large military conflict involving civilians. It happened again this time when more than 30,000 civilians charged the Israeli border fence, guided by the Hamas leadership that was hiding behind them.

There is no doubt that the number of casualties and wounded victims is a human tragedy. Israel should not ignore this, and it must take it into account. But it is also clear that deliberately sacrificed by their leadership, who sought to lubricate its propaganda machine to discredit Israel.

This is a deliberate, pre-planned strategy employed by movements like Hamas and Hezbollah in order to stain and disgrace the public image of the democracies that fight them in the eyes of the world. The images of dead civilians help them disguise their true nature and portray these movements as defenders of the victims while they use them as pawns.

Israel has the right and moral obligation to prevent infiltration into its territory and to protect its towns and population residing just a few hundred meters from the border. There is nothing more legitimate and legal that Israel can do than protect its citizens living in its sovereign territory, which is also recognized in UN resolutions, from attacks by an inflamed mob which would have rushed to the Israeli towns as a murderous herd had they not been stopped by Israeli security forces.

The preaching and shock circulating in the media are accompanied by horrifying images framed under misleading headlines such as: “the Israeli massacre in Gaza." Such images create a partial reality, ignoring the reality outside the focused frame and the wider context. They do not express the danger inherent in mass demonstrations of civilians, including men, women, young boys and young girls, and misunderstanding the actual danger to human life inherent in “cold” weapons. Behind the civilians are well-armed squads with the clear intention of exploiting the chaos to snipe, plant bombs, shoot or kidnap Israeli soldiers and civilians.

These creations or even reflections of a narrowly presented and framed reality undermine the image of Israel as precisely planned by Hamas. This is a repetition of the objectives of the Mavi Marmara flotilla in many parts. It is quite clear that there will soon be a demand for the establishment of an international commission of inquiry into so called “Israeli war crimes”. Those who criticize Israel almost automatically in the European institutions should examine how their donations to rehabilitate Gaza have been used to finance and promote projects of the current horror theater on Israel‘s southern border, instead of setting them aside for their local civilian purpose.

Israel is also required by its own usual high standards to self-examine whether and how it could  have acted differently. Could the use of non-lethal means stopped this pre -planned attack in another way? On the face of it, it appears that Israel has no adequate means of stopping such a large incited mob storming its fences, and that the use of live ammunition in certain situations is inevitable. However, Israel, which succeeded in a relatively short period of time to deal effectively with the Hamas terror tunnel challenge, which seemed insoluble, can invest in an effort to develop operational technology in the face of a recurring danger of the kind of phenomena we witnessed in Gaza.

Israel will most probably have to deal in the near future with the results of the Hamas move, which may manifest itself in another military confrontation in the south. In the West Bank, too, Israel is expected to meet the challenge that will come with the expected departure of Mahmoud Abbas, one way or another. In such a situation, the danger to the stability of the Palestinian Authority lies in the transitional period. There are Palestinian players in the West Bank, first and foremost Hamas, who are waiting for this opportunity to create chaos and then to take over the entire Palestinian people.

Yoram Schweitzer is an expert on international terrorism and head of the .