Current Magazine

“The Great Return March” Campaign Starts 30th March 2018

Posted on the 28 March 2018 by Arirusila @AriRusila
“The Great Return March” Campaign Starts 30th March 2018

Logo: all Palestine belongs to the Palestinians

After sc Arab Spring Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has stepped aside for other Mideast conflicts, such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iranian-Saudi and Shiite-Sunni proxy wars. To bring the Palestinian case back to the agenda and media headlines the new innovations are needed, the ongoing ”knifeintifada” in Judea and Samaria and ocassional quassam-fire fro Gaza are interesting issues only in Israel, the Western mainstream media has more newsworthy material elsewhere.

The latest innovation is the idea of a massive procession of 100,000 Gazans with the objective of storming the Israel security fence around Gaza to demonstrate the return of Gaza’s refugees to their original homes. Naturally these fence-stormers will not be the original refugees, there is on some tens of thousands of them worldwide and they are at least 69 years old.

The aim of this action is not immediately to kill Israelis but to get attention by getting killed themselves. If Israel must use lethal force to protect Israelis and Israeli border the media headlines will come back. If the situation will lead to wider violent protest and self-initiated suicide terrorist acts in the West Bank and among Israel’s Arab citizens or even a full-scale intifada, the better fro Hamas side.

Promotion video by The Palestinian Information Center; Click picture below:

“The Great Return March” Campaign Starts 30th March 2018

The ”Official” Plan

The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reports that preparations continue in the Gaza Strip for a mass march to Israel’s border (the “great return march”). The Palestinian organizations operating in the Gaza Strip have organized a “national committee” which in turn appointed professional committees to promote events in the internal Palestinian and international arenas. The organizers’ objective is to extend the scope of the events beyond the Gaza Strip and to promote marches not only in Gaza Strip but also simultaneous “return marches” from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to the Israeli border. According to the organizers, they are currently coordinating with Palestinians abroad and with Israeli Arabs. One of the activists involved in media preparations is Zaher Birawi, a Palestinian activist based in Britain who is affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and who in the past played a central role in organizing convoys and flotillas to the Gaza Strip.

“The Great Return March” Campaign Starts 30th March 2018

Palestinians carrying a key (the symbol of the return) flying the Palestinian flag. The Arabic reads, “A new spring day and we are close to the return, with the help of Allah” (Facabook)

According to the plan currently being formulated, there will be a series of ongoing events which will take place over the course of six weeks, between March 30 (Land Day) and May 15 (Nakba Day). The plan includes the erection, on Land Day, of a tent camp (or camps) near the security fence on the Israeli border, where thousands of Palestinian families will stay. The campaign will peak with a march of thousands of Palestinians to the Israeli border, probably on Nakba Day (no time table is not final).

Senior figures in the Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, led by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), welcomed the initiative and called on the Palestinian public to participate.

According The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center Khaled al-Batash, a PIJ operative and coordinator of the national and Islamic forces in the Gaza Strip, held a press conference with Senior Hamas figure Isma’il Radwan and senior Fatah figure Imad al-Agha, and announced the “establishment of the national authority of the border camp and march.” According to al-Batash, the committee was established through a national consensus of Hamas, Fatah, the PIJ, the PFLP, the Palestinian People’s Party and other groups. He said members of the committee included representatives of human rights organizations, clans, mukhtars, refugees’ committees, health organizations and activists from every sector of Palestinian society. He said the activities of the “great return march” would begin simultaneously in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, in coordination with Palestinians abroad and with Israeli Arabs.

The main foreign organizations leading the  Campaign are following:  The Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad, The Palestinians in Europe Conference, Filistin Dayanışma Derneği (FIDDER), Intimaa – The International Campaign to Preserve the Palestinian Identity and Aaidun – the Jordanian Society for Return and Refugees.

The coordinating committee and the human rights organizations in the Gaza Strip have already begun preparing letters that will be sent in the coming days to human rights organizations around the globe, to UN agencies, foreign ministers, the International Red Cross and other organizations. The objective will be for the recipients to exert pressure on Israel not to use violence against the Palestinians during the marches and accompanying events.

Public statements of the campaign claim that the intention is non-violent protest; however events can easily get out of control, marchers might try to enter Israeli territory and it seems probable that clashes with IDF occur – and this might be the real tactical aim of the campaign.

“The Great Return March” Campaign Starts 30th March 2018
The “great return march” events – Fence-storming – would begin on March 30th, 2018 (Land Day or Nakba), and that the so-called “march of the millions” would be held on May 14. or 15., 2018 (On May 14th, 1948 Ben-Gurion declared the state of Israel and five Arab states invaded it).  The other milestones for the campaign regarding the main reference dates over the next few months are following: April 17 – Palestinian Prisoners’ Day,  June 5 – the 51st anniversary of the “Naksa” (the 1967 “setback”) and  November 2 – the 101st anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

On 25th March, Hamas held a large-scale military exercise in Gaza in which it fired rockets into the Mediterranean Sea and tested its readiness for an IDF incursion.

IDF is preparing too

After Hamas came to power in the Gaza Strip more than a decade ago, it built, trained, and armed a terrorist army and guerilla force. It deliberately situated these forces in the midst of the civilian population, planting it in high-rise buildings, underground bunkers, and tunnels.

Israel and Hamas have engaged in three large-scale conflicts and numerous smaller-scale flare-ups over the past ten years. As the IDF looks to the future, it is preparing new ways to operate in this urban jungle should the need arise once again. Military drills simulate what the Israel Defense Forces will face in a new kind of ground combat in Gaza – a kind that will inevitably involve civilians amid general chaos.

Jewish News Syndicate reports about a war exercise for IDFs infantry commanders to prepare them for the challenges of combat in Gaza. The drill, held by the Givati infantry brigade, played out over a number of areas, including the southern city of Ashkelon, where officers simulated fighting in and around tall residential towers. In Gaza, such multistory buildings double as military bases for Hamas’s armed wing. The terror group uses them as command posts, lookouts, and firing positions. Such buildings will, in the IDF’s assessment, be used as positions by Hamas cells armed with shoulder-fired missiles, sniper rifles, and additional heavy firepower.

Maj. Guy Madar, a former Givati deputy battalion commander, explained, “In this last drill, we focused in a major way on the concept of the 360-degree threat. The fact is that the enemy can appear from above and below …” He added, “This exercise is about Gaza. We wanted to achieve four training goals: nighttime combat; fighting in armored vehicles; combat in urban closed areas, with a strong emphasis on tall buildings and tunnels; and focusing on the smaller units, at the level of platoons and companies.”

The training also made use of the IDF’s digital network, which links commanders to tanks and strike aircraft. The drill involved new quadcopters that recently entered service in the IDF. The drones – currently commercially made, but to be replaced by military quadcopters – have revolutionized the ability of low-ranking commanders to request and receive an aerial picture of their battle space.

“The Great Return March” Campaign Starts 30th March 2018

Gaza-fence. Photo credit: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Bottom line

There is a small obstacle with this project as the Palestinians are divided e.g after the attempted assassination of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza. So the major actors – the Palestinian Authority and Fatah on the one hand and Hamas and Islamic Jihad on the other – might have troubles to coordinate their actions during campaign.  Also there is view that for the Muslim Brotherhood, this march is part of a wider mobilization to implement its long-held aspiration to take over the PLO.

The campaign has good financing as Hamas spent $10 million behind the scenes to fund and organize the march to Gaza’s border with Israel.

The Israeli army will do everything it can to thwart the protestors in ways that avoid bloodshed. The Israeli military intelligence has warned that violence could escalate in May on the Gaza border and in the West Bank. Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi said that “the month of May, with the days of independence and Nakba, signal that a possible explosion is coming, [driven on the Palestinian side by] growing frustration and hopelessness. This period will demand determined fighting against terrorism, and that we make a clear distinction between civilians and terror operatives”. Israeli security forces are also bracing for a Palestinian “day of rage,” with thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank expecting to march towards the border fence on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover this Friday. Halevi said that “Hamas is at its lowest point because there are civilian and infrastructure crises,” suggesting that it is “running into the arms of Iran and using civilians by sending them to the security fence that divides Gaza and Israel”.

Sources: BICOM , The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center and BESA

 

“The Great Return March” Campaign Starts 30th March 2018


Article first published in Conflicts by Ari Rusila website.

Advertisements &b; &b;

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Movies of Recent Vintage Happening This Week

    Movies Recent Vintage Happening This Week

    Trivia will be happening this Tuesday night, August 21st at 8:30 PM, with "2010s Movie Trivia" as the Special Category. It will be seven questions about movies... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Theomnipotentq
    BASEBALL, SPORTS
  • How a Keto Diet Could Ease Chronic Pain

    Chronic pains such as fibromyalgia, migraines or arthritis is a very common problem. Could a keto diet help ease these symptoms? Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt sits down... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Video of the Week: Three Versions of Tree Pose

    Video Week: Three Versions Tree Pose

    In this video, Baxter demonstrates three versions of Tree pose, one of the few original standing yoga poses (according to author Richard Rosen) and a... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Ninazolotow
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat

    Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat

    @ Chino, CA May 2018 Arguably one of the most graceful piston-engined aircraft ever designed, this Tigercat makes a photo pass down the runway during the... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Htam
    PHOTOGRAPHY, SOCIETY
  • ‘Arrow’ Season 7 Promises To Be Grittier and Push Boundaries

    ‘Arrow’ Season Promises Grittier Push Boundaries

    Get ready for Arrow to go back to its roots in season 7 Arrow has all the dark elements of a Netflix show, but being a series on The CW network, it’s limited... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Entertainmentjolt
    ENTERTAINMENT, TV & VIDEO
  • Ground Beef and Tomato Bake with Cauliflower Topping

    Pascale Naessens' low-carb take on the classic Irish shepherd's pie, where cauliflower replaces the traditional mashed potato topping. A multi-layered... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • 7 Employee Practices That Will Make You A ‘Superboss’

    Employee Practices That Will Make ‘Superboss’

    Every business executive and entrepreneur I know believes they are good or even great leaders, but as an advisor I often hear a different story from their team. Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER