The Washington Post is urging Israel to come up with a better response to protests launched by Hamas.
“Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in the Gaza Strip over the past decade, and though it may not look like the others, a fourth one is now underway,” the newspaper said in an editorial.
“Having tried and failed to defeat Israel with rockets and armed cross-border attacks, Hamas this spring deployed a new strategy: assembling thousands of nominal civilians to march on and attempt to breach the border fence, in the calculation that many would be killed.”
The newspaper, quoting Israeli accounts, noted Hamas assembled about 40,000 people at 13 points along the border on Monday. The groups were then sent toward the fence “armed with wire cutters, slingshots, knives and, in a couple of cases, firearms.”
“They were met with clouds of tear gas, but when that failed to disperse them, Israeli snipers opened fire, the Post said. “At least 60 Palestinians were killed. On Tuesday, Israeli officials said two dozen had been identified as militants of Hamas or the Islamic Jihad.”
The paper said Human Rights Watch called it a “bloodbath.” Amnesty International said Israeli soldiers may have been guilty of war crimes. And only the Trump administration’s opposition likely stopped a U.N. Security Council condemnation of Israel.
“The question for Israelis is why their government, with weeks of warning about what Hamas would attempt, did not develop a strategy to defeat the operation by minimizing the loss of life,” the Post said. “Unbothered by the death toll, Hamas leaders say the marches will continue — which means Israel needs to find a way to stop them without being defeated by them.”
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