Hamas Called Gaza a 'Peaceful Protest' and the World Fell for It, Israeli Army Spokesman Claims

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Injured Palestinian men talk during clashes with Israeli forces along the border with the Gaza strip east of Jabalia on May 18, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED
Injured Palestinian men talk during clashes with Israeli forces along the border with the Gaza strip east of Jabalia on May 18, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABEDCredit: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP

Hamas has repeatedly lied about its true intentions and the protests in Gaza Strip and the world "fell for it," the spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces wrote in the Wall Street Journal in a damning condemnation of the Gaza rulers and their coverage in the media.

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Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis claimed that Hamas' "modus operandi is simple: Lie. Their lies support the stated goal of Hamas: the de-legitimization and destruction of Israel."

According to the IDF spokesman, despite weeks of lying to the world over the "violence on the border between Gaza and Israel," Hamas also made "rare acknowledgments of truth" which the general claimed "are especially revealing."

For example, Manelis wrote, "Hamas itself has confirmed that 80% of those killed in their violent riots last Monday were members of a terrorist group, not innocent civilians. Several more of the fatalities were claimed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad."

He also quoted one of Hamas' co-founders, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, as telling Al Jazeera that, “When we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public.'"

According to the army spokesman, "You can trust Hamas only when they admit to their lies."

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Some in the media, Manelis claimed, "helped Hamas by publishing its lies rather than the facts." The spokesman for Israel wrote, "If in order to win the international propaganda war I need to lie like Hamas, then I prefer to tell the truth and lose."

He detailed what he described as Hamas' "well-funded terrorist propaganda operation" that saw them hire Gaza protests "as extras, paying $14 a person or $100 a family for attendance—and $500 if they managed to get injured. Hamas forced all of their commanders and operatives to go to the border dressed as civilians. The audience was the international media. Hamas gave anyone with a video camera front-row access to the show and free Wi-Fi."

Menalis claimed that there could be no real non-violent protests in Gaza as Hamas controls every aspect of life in Gaza. "Hamas called it a 'peaceful protest,' and much of the world simply fell for it.

"The idea that this was a peaceful protest is the biggest lie of all, because the basic tenets required for a protest in a democracy like the U.S. or Israel do not exist in Gaza There can be no such thing as a peaceful protest in Gaza, only gatherings organized, sanctioned and funded by Hamas. Calling this a protest isn’t fake news, just fake," he concluded.

He continued to blame Hamas for the violence and said that the Gaza group "can lie—to the world, to Palestinians and to their own commanders and operatives—but I am proud that the IDF will never lie or use Israeli civilians or soldiers as pawns.

"None of this violence had to occur, but it was the violence that Hamas instigated and orchestrated so that the headlines and pictures would reinforce the lies that the Hamas spokesmen had planned."

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