The Hamas Gimmick that Failed

  • The “Friday of Tires” protest failed to achieve its main objective, which was to impede the actions of IDF marksmen on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.

  • The Palestinians did not manage to infiltrate the territory of the State of Israel in their vast numbers, and the Israeli deterrent was preserved.

  • The Palestinian “Return” campaign has also failed to mobilize Arab states and the West Bank. But there is still a month ahead for the campaign to run, on various notable dates, culminating in Nakba Day on May 14 and 15, the scheduled dates of the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and Nakba Day.

  • On May 15, the month-long fast of Ramadan, which is sacred to Muslims, is set to begin.

According to official statistics released by the Palestinian Health Ministry, 10 Palestinians were killed during the “Friday of Tires” in Gaza. Around 1,400 were injured, 33 of whom were in serious condition.

The second week of the “return” campaign organized by Hamas ended in failure, according to IDF estimations, which the Palestinians do not deny. Only around 20,000 people took part in these events, compared to 40,000 people who participated during the previous week.

Why Is This a Failure?

In fact, the first Friday of the campaign (March 30) was originally declared a memorial day for those who were killed on what was termed “Land Day” in 1976. However, this date has gradually become the “Friday of Tires.”

The Hamas leadership, who did not want to lose too many participants at its events, gave into pressure from the younger generation in Gaza, who brought up the idea of the old-new gimmick of burning thousands of tires, They wanted to use the tactic to hinder the actions of IDF marksmen across the border, thereby “protecting the lives of the protesters.”

According to Fatah sources in Gaza, the Hamas leadership believed that this new gimmick would succeed following the failure of the underground tunnels project.

Burning tires is not new. This tactic first appeared during the civil war in Lebanon from 1975-1990, and it was also used extensively during the first intifada in 1987 and the second intifada in 2000.

Using thousands of burning tires was intended to draw the IDF to a new front, where it would have to deal with thousands of protesting civilians in conditions of poor visibility, which will cause it to make mistakes.

However, an assessment of the results shows that the purpose for which thousands of tires were burned was not achieved. The IDF forces at the Gaza border were prepared in advance. Whenever necessary, they used water cannons, fans, and fire hoses, and they also used aerial drones to overcome the heavy smokescreen. Anyone who attempted to approach the border fence, damage it, cross it, or carry out terror attacks under cover of the smoke from the tires was hit by sniper fire.

The Palestinians did not manage to infiltrate the territory of the State of Israel in their vast numbers, and the Israeli deterrent was preserved.

Gazans attempted to pull down the Gaza border fence with Israel.

Gazans attempted to pull down the Gaza border fence with Israel.

From the view of Hamas, the campaign was an operational failure. The movement’s consent to use thousands of burning tires diverted the “return” campaign from its original objective. Also around the world, it is obvious that there is no connection between burning tires and the “right of return” for refugees. There were no great marches toward the border fence – only a massive burning of tires.

Hamas, which is well aware of the murmurings and mood on the Gaza street,? tried to boost participation in the events of the “Friday of tires” by promising financial incentives to those who took part and to those who were injured in the events of the most recent “Land Day.”...

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