A march on Israel's southern border is being organized and orchestrated by Hamas in a deliberate attempt to provoke a violent confrontation with Israel.
Hamas and other Palestinian terror organizations have begun mobilizing the Palestinian public to participate in a series of ongoing events that will take place over the course of six weeks - starting on March 30 (known as “Land Day” marking events that took place in Israel over 40 years ago), and leading up to May 15 (the anniversary of Israel's establishment, which Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba", or disaster).
Hamas has called for thousands of Gaza residents, particularly women and children, to set up tent camps as close as they can to Israel's southern border. It is from these camps that the march towards the Israeli border fence will be launched.
Hamas is also seeking to extend the scope of the events beyond the Gaza Strip and to promote marches in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Hamas is also actively encouraging Israeli Arabs to join the campaign, thus forcing Israel's security forces to deal with multiple, simultaneous challenges on different fronts, including within its own borders.
While the campaign is being presented to the world at large as a peaceful enterprise, there is no doubt that this latest Hamas ploy is aimed at igniting a violent confrontation with Israel.
Contrary to the many declarations that there will be no violence during the events, Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, hinted knowingly, in ways that his own people could clearly understand the intent, that they might, in fact, turn violent. In a sermon he gave on March 9, 2018, he stated that it would be impossible to control the tens of thousands who would march from the north, east and south [Gaza Strip] to protest the “siege” (Twitter accounts of Hamas’ department of political affairs and Palinfo, March 9, 2018). 
As a result, Israel finds itself on the eve of Passover preparing for an array of scenarios, including a violent, deliberate charge on its borders.
And while Israel hopes and aims to avoid violence it will take all necessary steps to prevent any violation of its sovereignty or any threat to its citizens.
Israel, of course, has the full right to defend its borders, to protect its citizens and to prevent illegal infiltration into its sovereign territory. Responsibility for any clashes that may arise will thus lie solely with Hamas and the other Palestinian organizations who have manufactured this entire campaign.
In orchestrating this confrontation Hamas is seeking, amongst other things, to distract its own people, as well as the international community, from the colossal harm that continued Hamas rule in Gaza is causing the Palestinian people:
- Hamas consistently chooses to invest in terror over civilian infrastructure: According to Channel 2 News, Hamas is spending more than $10 million on the confrontation campaign alone, even paying Gazans to participate in the march.
- While Gaza's infrastructure is failing, Hamas is using its considerable resources to buy weapons and missiles and to construct terror tunnels, instead of caring for the welfare of the Gaza populationץ
- Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip for eleven years without mercy. In their obsession to destroy Israel, Hamas leaders have forsaken the people of Gaza and created a worrisome humanitarian situation there, using Israel as a scapegoat. Instead of tending to the needs of the people, Hamas oppresses them for the sake of continuing the conflict.
- Hamas continues to endanger and exploit the civilian population of Gaza by using them as human shields. The march campaign shows once again how Hamas deliberately sends civilians, including women and children, to the front, while its leaders and fighters hide behind them.
- Moreover, as a result of the internal rifts within Palestinian society caused by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority is now imposing sanctions on the Gaza Strip, by suspending payments for salaries and electricity, thus further damaging the welfare of the people.
Contrary to Hamas deliberate misrepresentation of the issues, Israel has no territorial claims on Gaza. Israel left the Gaza Strip in 2005. There is no occupation of Gaza.
Nor is there any siege on Gaza, despite what many anti-Israel campaigners assert. Tons of essential goods enter Gaza from Israel on a daily basis, while Israel also continues to provide for electric power and water, in coordination with international parties, as well as the passage of people via Israel for medical treatment. Restrictions are only placed on materials used for the military build-up of Hamas and other terror groups. Israel would like the Gaza Strip to be a peaceful and prosperous neighbor.
It should be noted that the Palestinian leadership and Israel agreed in 1995 to resolve through negotiation, not by unilateral moves or violence, all permanent status issues such as the settlements, security arrangements and borders, as well as the refugee issue.
The Palestinian representatives, again and again, rejected serious efforts to reach peace agreements, including far-reaching Israeli proposals in the negotiations held in 2000 and in 2008. The Palestinian leaders left the negotiation table once again in 2014.
Gaza is facing a worrying humanitarian situation, brought on by the dismal failure of Hamas and the PA to provide for the welfare of Gaza's population. Instead of taking responsibility, Palestinian leaders are trying to manufacture renewed conflict and confrontation with Israel.
Photo Silvia Golan