The head of the Israeli defense body for Palestinian civilian affairs, Maj. Gen. Yoav “Poli” Mordechai, on Saturday likened Palestinian terror group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, to Pharaoh, the biblical figure who stubbornly refused to liberate the enslaved Israelites until their exodus from ancient Egypt led by Hebrew prophet Moses.
In a Facebook post published on the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories’ (COGAT) profile for Arabic speakers, Mordechai slammed Hamas for supporting the “march of chaos” on Friday, in which at least 16 Palestinians were said to have been killed by Israeli fire, including five members of the ruling Palestinian terror group’s military wing.
#حماس تضرب طلابا ليس بحوزتهم مال وبدلا من هذا تستثمر في #مسيرة_الفوضى عشرات ملايين الشواقل – هذا هو سلم اولويات حماس#حماس_الارهابية ارسلت قواتها الامنية لتضرب بالهراوات والصفعات واطلاق النار ورمي القذائف الصوتية باتجاه طالبات وطلاب كانوا يطالبون بالدخول الى امتحان في #جامعة_الازهر في #غزة حيث حرموا من الامتحان لمجرد انه لم يكن بحوزتهم نقود لتسديد رسوم دراستهم. من الجهة الاخرى تقوم حماس بتمويل مسيرة الفوضى من خلال استثمار عشرات ملايين الشواقل وبدون أي نتائج مفيدة للغزيين.سلم الاولويات لدى حماس واضح: بدلا من استثمار الاموال بالطلاب وبمستقبلهم فإنها تستثمر الاموال بإجراءات فارغة بهدف تحويل النقد العام عن اخفاقاتها .تستغل حماس هذه "المسيرة" من أجل إخفاء جرائمها وممارساتها كما حدث في أحداث جامعة الأز هر .نحن في #اسرائيل نحتفل بعيد الفصح ونتحدث عن "فرعون" والظلم الذي كان يمارسه- "فرعونكم" في غزة هو حركة حماس.#حماس_هي_فرعونكم
Posted by المنسق on Saturday, 31 March 2018
Tens of thousands of Palestinians marched to Gaza’s border with Israel on Friday in the largest such demonstration in recent memory, calling for Palestinians to be allowed to return to land that their ancestors fled from in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.
The Israeli military said the protesters threw firebombs and rocks at soldiers, rolled burning tires at them, sought to breach or damage the border fence, and in one incident opened fire.
In his Facebook post Saturday, Mordechai included a video of Gazan students being prevented from accessing the al-Azhar University to take their exams and being hit by guards. The students, according to the post, had failed to pay tuition.
“Hamas hits students who don’t have money and instead invests tens of millions in the march of chaos… This is the priority of Hamas…to send its security forces to hit [students] with clubs,” he wrote.
“Hamas’s priorities are clear: instead of investing [in] students and their future, they invest money in empty actions to divert public criticism from their failures. Hamas uses this ‘march’ to hide its crimes and practices,” he wrote.
Mordechai said that as Israeli Jews (and Jews all over the world) celebrate the Passover holiday, which began Friday, and recount the story of Pharaoh and the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt, Gazans must endure their own cruel ruler.
“Your Pharaoh in Gaza is the Hamas movement,” he said.
Hamas is an Islamist terror group that seeks to destroy Israel. It seized control of Gaza from Abbas’s Fatah in a violent coup in 2007.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 16 Palestinians were killed and over 1,400 injured by Israel during the mass protests on Friday. It said more than 750 people were hurt by live rounds.
IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said on Saturday that all those killed were engaged in violence, adding that Gaza health officials exaggerated the number of those wounded and that several dozen at most were injured by live fire while the rest were merely shaken up by tear gas and other riot dispersal means.
Manelis said Friday evening that the army faced “a violent, terrorist demonstration at six points” along the fence. He said the IDF used “pinpoint fire” wherever there were attempts to breach or damage the security fence. “All the fatalities were aged 18-30, several of the fatalities were known to us, and at least two of them were members of Hamas commando forces,” he said.
Manelis warned that if violence drags on along the Gaza border, Israel will expand its reaction to strike the terrorists behind it. The military has thus far restricted its response to those trying to breach its border, but if attacks continue it will go after terrorists “in other places, too,” he said.
On Saturday, hundreds participated in a number of protests along the security fence. Palestinian media reported that 13 Gazans were injured over the course of the day Saturday.
The Israeli military warned that if violence drags on along the Gaza border, Israel will expand its reaction to strike the terrorists behind it.
Friday’s clashes were the deadliest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza War. Israeli troops used live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas to keep thousands of Gazans from trying to approach the border fence.
On Friday evening, Gaza’s Hamas leaders called on protesters to retreat from the border area until Saturday.
Protest organizers have said mass marches would continue until May 15, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. Palestinians mark that date as their “nakba,” or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands left or were forced to leave during the 1948 War of Independence. The vast majority of Gaza’s two million people are their descendants.
The Palestinian Authority declared Saturday a day of mourning for those killed.
Hamas praised the march and the planned 6-week camp demonstration, with Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh saying on Friday that the protests marked the beginning of the Palestinians’ return to “all of Palestine.”
“We are here to declare today that our people will not agree to keep the ‘right of return’ only as a slogan,” he said.
Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, said in a speech to protesters Friday that “The March of Return… will not stop until we remove this transient border. Friday’s protests, he said, “mark the beginning of a new phase in the Palestinian national struggle on the road to liberation and return [of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside Israel].”
The “March of Return,” Sinwar added, “affirms that our people can’t give up one inch of the land of Palestine.
At previous peace talks, the Palestinians have always demanded, along with sovereignty in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the Old City, a “right of return” to Israel for Palestinian refugees who left or were forced out of Israel when it was established. The Palestinians demand this right not only for those of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are still alive — a figure estimated in the low tens of thousands — but also for their descendants, who number in the millions.
No Israeli government would ever be likely to accept this demand, since it would spell the end of Israel as a Jewish-majority state. Israel’s position is that Palestinian refugees and their descendants would become citizens of a Palestinian state at the culmination of the peace process, just as Jews who fled or were forced out of Middle Eastern countries by hostile governments became citizens of Israel.