In a comprehensive report, NGO Monitor, a project of the Institute for NGO Research, issued a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry (COI) detailing the events of the protests launched by Hamas from Gaza that have threatened Israeli sovereignty for months, and it’s a damning portrait of the Palestinian effort to ultimately topple the state of Israel. NGO Monitor also documented in detail human rights violations such as the use of explosives, Molotov cocktails, guns, rockets, and incendiary kites, as well as incitement and attempts to infiltrate through the border fence.
NGO Monitor writes:
In contrast to the disinformation advanced by UN officials and NGOs, characterizing the events as “peaceful protests,” the “Gaza marches” represent an eight-month long (and continuing) organized military operation to attack and breach the Israeli border. This military campaign is not only intended to attack Israeli military installations and abduct IDF soldiers, but it is intended to terrorize, to cause wanton destruction, and to inflict bodily harm to Israeli civilians.
NGO comments that the UNHRC has an inherent bias:
As with previous commissions and FFMs, the inherent bias of the COI’s mandate hampers from the outset its ability to produce an objective and credible report. Specifically, resolution S-28/1, establishing the COI, is solely addressed to Israel and is silent as to the numerous violations by Palestinian actors. The resolution is blatantly conclusory both legally and factually: Israeli actions are called “military assaults” and labeled “disproportionate and indiscriminate”; Gaza protests are characterized as “peaceful” and “civilian”; the status of Gaza is deemed “occupied” prior to any legal analysis; and the resolution libels Israeli investigations claiming without basis that there is a “systematic failure by Israel to carry out genuine investigations in an impartial, independent, prompt and effective way.” In other words, under the mandate of the COI and according to the leadership of OHCHR overseeing the COI, Israel is already judged guilty and Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups are granted impunity.
NGO points out that the COI lacks the proper expertise to analyze the situation:
A serious concern relating to the workings of the COI is the lack of expertise in military operations and the laws of armed conflict (LOAC)/international humanitarian law (IHL). Extensive knowledge of human rights law is simply not enough. None of the Commission members has military or IHL expertise. Yet, it is impossible to conduct this inquiry and draft a report on the Gaza border conflict, involving almost exclusively issues of military operations and IHL, without this knowledge.
NGO points out why Israel had to defend its border so assiduously:
The distance between the two parts of the barrier [along the Gaza border] changes according to the topographical circumstances and ranges between 20 and 80 meters only. As such, a Palestinian that [crosses the first part] will arrive within a few seconds to the iron fence that is in Israeli territory.
Since its establishment, the barrier is designed to protect Israeli citizens and security forces from various threats, with an emphasis on infiltration of terrorists from Gaza into Israel. The barrier is located just hundreds of meters away from a number of Israeli towns and just dozens of meters away from IDF forces. Therefore, a breach poses, definitely from the riotous mob, a danger to both the citizens of Israel and to the soldiers …due to vulnerabilities in the barrier and the security significance of a breakthrough by a hostile Palestinian mob, the threat of the breakthrough creates, at times, a tangible, proximate danger to the lives and bodily integrity of both civilians and soldiers. And if this threat [infiltration] were to be realized, eliminating the danger (which at this stage would become immediate) would necessitate the use of live ammunition on a larger scale.
In this context, the respondents believe that the petitioners make light of the tangible, proximate, severe danger posed by rioting masses… The position of the respondents is that, the danger posed by a rioting mass of thousands of people is tens of times greater than that posed by a single person or a small group of people. Moreover, this danger becomes instantaneously immediate when the masses reach their target, and preventing [the danger] at this later stage will require, from a tactical perspective, large scale live fire which the respondents are trying to prevent.
Some of the many quotes from Palestinian leaders indicating they sought the destruction of Israel: March 30, 2018: Hamas leader Yahya Al-Senawar stated, “The march of return will continue until the temporary borders are uprooted.” May 17, 2018: Mahmoud al-Zahar, a Hamas leader, stated, “When we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public. This is a peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force and by security agencies, and enjoying tremendous popular support.” May 24, 2018: Khaled al-Batsh, a senior official of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, praised protestors, stating, “we will move our popular march toward the Israeli villages surrounding Gaza by cutting wire and other units operating in the settlements surrounding Gaza.”
And there was this: Al-Aqsa TV featured footage of the “Fence Cutters’ Unit. One of the members stated that “today, we cut the Zionist enemy’s main barbed-wire fence on the Gaza border…today we shall enter our occupied lands, and ignite a revolution against the Zionist enemy, in order to proclaim, loud and clear, that this enemy is destined for perdition, and that what was taken by force will be regained by force alone. We are about to liberate our blessed Palestinian land, which was plundered from us by the enemy by force, and from which the enemy will be driven out by force alone.”