During the Passover weekend, some 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza approached the border with Israel and carried out a variety of violent activities in what they call the “Land Day Protests” or the “March of Return.” We’ve seen quite a bit of mishandled coverage, so here are the main myths and facts so you can better understand the situation and also speak up when you see inaccurate or biased media.
1 Myth: This is a non-violent “protest” or a “march.”
2 Myth: Israel is shooting innocent civilians.
Fact: Of the estimated 30,000 people present, as of this time of writing, 17 have been confirmed dead. Of those, at least 10 are confirmed as active fighters of Hamas, Global Jihad, or the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, all designated as terror organizations by the US, the EU, and others. (All 17 have been confirmed as young men of military age).
3 Myth: Israel is shooting people in the back or while they are running away.
4 Myth: “Land Day” really just advocates peaceful co-existence.
Fact: The core demand of “Land Day” protesters is that all of Israel should be “returned” to Palestinians.
5 Myth: These events are spontaneous and grass-roots based.
6 Myth: Injury figures cited by Gaza health officials are reliable.
7 Myth: This is a conflict pitting the IDF vs. Palestinian civilians.
One particularly chilling example: the IDF recounts that Hamas sent a seven year old girl to breach the border into Israel, and abandoned her within the line of fire (presumably in the hope that she would be killed for PR purposes). At significant personal risk, Israeli soldiers entered the line of fire, recovered the girl and returned her to her parents without harm.