Hydra Warfare by Iran and Hamas in Gaza

An Israel New Talk Radio Discussion with Dan Diker


By Rod Bryant and Jerry Gordon (June 2018)

Sunset over Gaza May 14, 2018


The nearly nine weeks since late March 2018, Hamas has staged violent weekly protests with the meme of the Great March of Return. They have gathered tens of thousands of young protesters, women and children by huge pyres of tire burnings and kite fire bombs setting fire to adjacent fields in the Southern Israel with towns and kibbutzim located less than half a kilometer from the Gaza frontier. Because of the threats of penetration in five locations along the Israel/Gaza frontier, the IDF mounted a defensive effort that included leaflets, text messages and snipers to target Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) fighters mounting fire on Israeli positions. The IDF used tear gas and both rubber bullets and live ammunition against protesters who rushed the frontier barrier threatening to breach it. The toll at the end of the eight weeks was 100 dead and more than 2,700 wounded. That included one six-month-old infant who was alleged to have succumbed to tear gas, but had a congenital heart condition.


The high point came on May 14th, 2018 coincident with the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on the 70th anniversary of the Jewish nation’s founding, what the Palestinians called Al-Nakba, the “Catastrophe”. More than 40,000 protesters with Hamas and PIJ fighters strategically positioned among them to fire on IDF defense forces. The toll was 60 dead and 1,700 wounded. Of those killed 50 plus were Hamas and PIJ fighters. Nevertheless, the international and Muslim press succumbed to Hamas propaganda that the IDF response was “disproportionate”. Turkey’s President Erdogan called it “genocide” recalling his Ambassador from Jerusalem, while Netanyahu responded by recalling his Ambassador from Ankara. Because Erdogan is current Chairman of the 57 member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, he called for a special meeting in Istanbul to address not only accusations of “genocide in Gaza” but also mounting a coordinated effort to take back control over Jerusalem given the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Palestinians threatened to expand their April 2017 request for prosecution of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Both the US and Israel, who have never ratified the Treaty of Rome establishing the ICC, objected to the Palestinian charges as fraudulent. Meanwhile, at the UN the Kuwaiti delegation circulated a draft resolution requesting the formation of a UN protective force for the Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza.


At the end of that week of tumultuous developments, the UN Human Rights Council, notoriously dominated by Arab and Muslim leadership, held a hearing in Geneva on May 18th seeking a so-called “independent” study of the confrontation in Gaza between the IDF, the civilian protesters ,Hamas and the PIJ.


The accusations by the UN High Commissioner, the PLO and other Arab delegations were belligerent toward Israel:


UN High Commissioner Zeid: “Eighty-seven Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli security forces, and over 12,000 people have been injured . . . The stark contrast in casualties on both sides is also suggestive of a wholly disproportionate response: on the Israeli side, one soldier was reportedly wounded, slightly, by a stone . . . the population of Gaza are caged in a toxic slum from birth to death, dehumanized by the Israeli authorities . . .”


PLO: “None of the civilians used any firearms or lethal weapons . . . [For Israel] those who were killed from amongst the protesters have no value, just like Nazis . . . Criminal acts of the Israeli occupation forces against civilians . . .”


UAE for Arab Group: “We deeply condemn Israel’s repression of Palestinian protesters as collective punishment . . . We call for an international inquiry to put a prompt end to repression . . .”


Qatar: We condemn massacres and gross violations of the occupying forces. Women, children, and journalists have been killed.”


Iraq: “Horrific violations by Israeli forces . . .”


It was left to Col. Richard Kemp (ret.) CBE, who had observed IDF operations on the Israel/ Gaza frontier during these massed protests and previously during the 51 day 2014 IDF Operation Protective Edge against Hamas rocket and terror tunnel attacks, to rebut these calumnies. He appeared as a colleague of UN Watch. These were his comments (watch here):


I have the honor to take the floor on behalf of United Nations Watch.


I commanded British troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans and Northern Ireland, and served with NATO and the United Nations. I have come straight from the Gaza front line to share my assessment.


Based on what I observed, I can say that everything we just heard here is a complete distortion of the truth.


The truth is that Hamas, a terrorist organization that seeks the destruction of Israel and murder of Jews everywhere, deliberately caused over 60 of its own people to get killed.


They sent thousands of civilians to the front line—as human shields for terrorists trying to break through the border.


Hamas’s goal, in their own words, was “blood . . . in the path of Jihad.”


I ask every country in this Council: You have all been telling us that Israel should have reacted differently. But how would you respond if a Jihadist terror group sent thousands to flood your borders, and gunmen to massacre your communities?


Your failure to admit that Hamas is responsible for every drop of blood spilt on the Gaza border encourages their violence and use of human shields. It makes you complicit in further bloodshed.


If Israel had allowed these mobs to break through the fence, the IDF would then have been forced to defend their own civilians from slaughter and many more Palestinians would have been killed.


Israel’s actions therefore saved lives of Gazans; and if this Council really cared about human rights, it should commend the Israel Defense Force for that, not condemn them on the basis of lies.


Behind the roiling Hamas protests on Israel’s frontier with Gaza was what Dan Diker, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs fellow and Director of the Political Warfare project, called the “hydra warfare” by Iran and Hamas. On the occasion of the Republic of South Africa recalling its Ambassador from Jerusalem in protest of alleged IDF ‘oppression’ of the Palestinians in Gaza, Diker published an article in Huffington Post South Africa citing the nefarious activities of both Iran and Hamas organizing, funding and misleading the international media. Here are the key findings of Diker’s HuffPo SA article, “Why Has the Rainbow Nation Fallen for Hamas’ Darkness and Deception”:


While the South African government likely views the Gazan side as the weaker and therefore “just” party regardless of terror actions or declarations of jihad against the Jews, Hamas’ terror crusade has sent young Gazans to their deaths by inciting and compensating them to penetrate the Gaza-Israel border fence to kill innocent Israeli citizens, including children, to “retake Palestine” from the Jews.


South Africa must understand that its diplomatic break from Israel merely strengthens the Islamic Republic of Iran’s hidden hand guiding Hamas’ Gaza jihad and weakens the cause of peace, justice and self-determination for Palestinians and Israelis.


Is Pretoria aware that the Iranian regime has put Gaza “in play” as a chess piece as part of its regional strategy to destroy Israel and subvert countries across the Middle East? Accordingly, Tehran’s $100-million funding of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in 2018 stands behind the Hamas terror campaign as the Islamic Republic’s southern front to destroy Israel. Simultaneously, the regime has placed some 175,000 Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, pointed at the Jewish state, while tens of thousands of Iranian military operatives are ready to attack from Syria.


Only if South Africa uses its diplomatic influence to convince Hamas to stop incentivizing its youth to commit terror attacks and instead create a secure, stable and flourishing society based on human rights and equality . . .


Iranian operatives under the command of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, together with Sinwar and the Hamas leadership, have been planning, financing, inciting and compensating tens of thousands of Hamas supporters, many of them young teenagers, to storm the internationally recognized border fence with Israel even at the risk of death. Their stated intention is to kidnap and commit mass murder of Israeli women and children living as close as 400 meters on Israel’s side of the Gaza border in Jewish communities such as Netiv Ha’ Asera and Nahal Oz.


Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, referring to the Jews living in southern Israel near the border with Gaza, said on April 6, “We will tear down the border and we will tear out their hearts.” Hamas operatives, camouflaged in civilian clothing to appear like innocent civilians, reportedly received $1,000 each to commit cross-border attacks. Hamas pledged $3,000 to the families of those killed by Israeli fire.


Palestinians injured by Israeli troops in the clashes receive $200-$500 in compensation, depending on the level of injury. While the Palestinian Authority pays thousands of dollars for life if they are captured or killed, in line with PA legislation. It may seem surprising that Hamas’s cash incentive system has generated fewer than 100 self-declared “martyrs” who have been killed, out of a population of some 1.8 million Gazans.


This is not a popular protest; it is part of Iran and Hamas’s grand strategy in its war of attrition to destroy the Jewish state. Hamas leader Mahmoud Al Zahar confirmed Hamas’ strategy in a May 13 interview on Qatar’s’ Al Jazeera network. He said: “The Gaza protests are not peaceful resistance . . . It is supported by our weapons.”


Against this background Rod Bryant and Jerry Gordon, co-hosts of Israel News Talk Radio—Behind the Matrix interviewed Dan Diker about the dynamics of Hydra Warfare employed by Iran and Hamas.


What follows is an excerpt from the interview.


Jerry: Dan, the US Embassy opening was overshadowed by really violent protests by Hamas on Israel’s Southern frontier with Gaza on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel which they call al Nakba, the Catastrophe. What drove Hamas to conduct these protests, who funded it and why did Hamas sabotage Israel’s humanitarian aid?

Dan: What is happening in Gaza right now as we speak which is Nakba Day, the Day of the Catastrophe which is the fifteenth of May, a full six weeks from the first weekly protest that Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in Europe have financed and organized is one of the most misunderstood and overly covered by the western media event that we have seen in recent times, certainly in a conflict zone and I want to share with you what I shared in a private audience earlier today in Jerusalem which is that most people don’t know that there are really six or seven different battles and motivations at play right here. Number one, if you notice some of the news reporting that is going on inside Gaza when they ask young people why it is that they are protesting or demonstrating they talk about economics. They talk about the fact that forty-four or forty-five percent of working age Gazans are unemployed. They talk about the difficulties in getting credit in what they call financing their lives month by month. That is really another way of saying they are furious with the Palestinian Authority that had cut electricity supplies to Gaz. It is really conducting a civil war essentially against their Gaza adversaries. In fact this economic problem is directly connected to the Palestinian Authority that is not cooperating with Gaza. Effectively, the PLO—Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza—are competing for the Palestinian street. The problem with economics has nothing to do with the third reason. Some people will say Hamas leadership is the symbol of 70 backing the Great Return March essentially is a denial of the existence of the State of Israel. Many unfortunately in the international media do not recognizing that fact. What do these protests have to do with the peace process and prospects for a peaceful outcome of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian authority? That has nothing to do with it. All the Hamas leadership is claiming is that Israel is illegitimate, shouldn’t exist and the Palestinians want to return to land from which they fled in 1948. The real reason is that Hamas basically called for thousands upon thousands of its young people to storm the fence being well-compensated for it and to kill and kidnap Israelis on the other side of the fence. That has been completely under reported or even not even reported by the international media. Essentially protesting Gazans, are being incited and are being compensated to storm the fence with light weapons and try to kidnap and kill as many Israeli women and children as possible


Rod:  You had mentioned the fact that these protesters, about forty thousand, of which 60 people were shot to death despite plenty of warning from Israel itself. Can you explain that?


Dan: Rod, these were completely preventable injuries and deaths. The Hamas is compensating many young people, teenagers even, to storm an international border and attempt to kidnap, maim and kill Israelis. There are several Israeli Jewish communities less than half a kilometer away from that border. The Israeli Defense Forces are very frightened that if attempts succeed to breach the fence hundreds if not thousands of people could get through. Then you will have a major strategic security problem for Israel as these people try to ignite fields which they have done before. They are also firing light weapons, exploding pipe bombs and IED’s which are not being reported by the mainstream media unfortunately including the American Networks. That is what is causing death and injury to Palestinians. If they would stay away from the fence they would not be injured and the fact is that there are many children that are being injured by burning tires and tear gas. That is an absolute violation of human rights law by Hamas. Hamas is violating international human rights law because they are encouraging youngsters to breach the fence and kill Israelis and that is not going to happen. If they stay away from the fence they will not get hurt by the IDF.


Jerry: Dan there was a torching of the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Gaza that was the only portal for delivery of humanitarian aid and commerce with Israel. Why did Hamas destroy it?


Dan: Kerem Shalom is the main portal for commercial delivery as well. I was just was down at the Kerem Shalom Crossing about a month ago. I personally witnessed hundreds of trucks going from Israel into Hamas-controlled Gaza in order to assist the public in Gaza. I saw cement trucks going through, food trucks going through and other raw materials. Now the problem here is that what Hamas did is basically tried to commit economic suicide by actually burning gas, oil and infrastructure on the Gazan side. The question is why they want to do that? It is my assessment that it is because the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah reaped profits from the passage of those oil and gas deliveries. They don’t go directly into the Hamas pockets. They went into the Fatah pockets. My understanding is that Hamas wanted to destroy them so they could rebuild them, negotiating directly with Israel. Then they would be the owners on their side of that infrastructure and reap the profits themselves as opposed to giving them to their adversaries, the Palestinian Authority and Fatah in Ramallah.


Rod: Can you say definitively that Hamas received funding and support from Iran?


Dan: Oh definitely. I mean this is probably the most important strategic point that’s come up in our conversation Rod. Look we know from our Chief of Staff who gave a lecture at the Institute for National Security Affairs in Tel Aviv that Iran has pumped some one hundred million dollars into the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad which is a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in the last twelve months. We know that from the Iranian regime’s point of view Gaza is a southern front for Iran to attack Israel, while Syria and Lebanon are northern fronts to attack Israel. Now Gaza has become more important to the Iranian regime especially since its ignominious defeat the by a sortie against fifty Iranian targets in Syria that were destroyed by the Israeli Air Force. This shocked the Iranian regime, the IRGC and the Quds Force, the elite force of the Iranian External Intelligence and Security Services. They could never imagine that Israel had such exact capabilities in the area of intelligence, in the area of air force execution. Iran is now reassessing its strategy towards Israel. Gaza becomes more and more useful in the Iranian political warfare strategy. Because the press, the media influence public opinion, so that the United Nations and international institutions become weaponized against Israel. Their hope is that Israel could become isolated in the international community. Israel’s legitimacy could be lowered to be equal that of Hamas.


Rod: Is this an example of what we call asymmetrical hybrid warfare? It is not total war but it is a way of shifting conflict to keep your enemy occupied?


Dan: Yes it is. It is very much an expression of what counter terrorism professionals call hybrid warfare. Hybrid warfare means the execution of conventional warfare mixed with classical small cell terrorism, usually by what is perceived as a much weaker side opposite a much stronger side which of course Israel would be. I think we are facing another type of hybrid warfare that I would call hydra warfare named after the old Greek mythological monster that has between six and nine heads. According to the Greek mythological example when Hercules would behead the hydra, the hydra would then grow two additional heads. It would metastasize and grow additional heads. That is what we are facing with Hamas and Hezbollah. We are facing a very complex terror organization that behaves as a conventional army, it behaves as a terror organization, it engages in political and ideological warfare, mass protests, deception, and manipulation. It is very much reminiscent of what the Soviet Union, the PLO and Iran have done in the past. Iran has become the patron of this type of hybrid as you call it or hydra warfare. It essentially creates orchestrated chaos among free states and free peoples. Because they don’t know which direction to turn because this hydra, in this case Hamas, can behave in legitimate and illegitimate ways simultaneously.


Rod: What are you suggesting that needs to take place so that we keep a light on these s terrorist organizations and keep it up front in peoples mind to understand the danger of recognizing their legitimacy? What would be your advice to people when they hear this and think that maybe there is moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas?


Dan: If people want to encourage Al Qaeda and ISIS to execute terror attacks against the United States they will then continue or will begin to support Hamas and Hezbollah. Because if you want to prevent terrorism in the United States one has to take a principled unconditional position against Hezbollah and Hamas that are radical Islamic terror organizations. Hezbollah, radical Shiites; Hamas radical Sunni coming out of the Muslim Brotherhood, have the same goals as ISIS and Al Qaeda. Unfortunately, in the free world we look for rationalizations in order to justify unjustifiable behavior such as Hamas sending young teens to their death trying to penetrate the Israeli border in Southern, Central and Northern Gaza. Therefore when they see ISIS and Al Qaeda murdering tens of Frenchmen for no apparent reason people tend to differentiate between terror and terrorists. Terror and terrorists cannot be differentiated. If you want to preserve and secure the United States you have to take a principled stand against terror of all kinds. There is no good or bad Islamic or radical Arab terrorism, it is all the same.


Rod: Since we have been seeing the rise of terrorism in Europe and in France post modern societies really have to reconsider their opinion of humanity. I think the problem is post modern progressive society says well in general people are decent and they can’t really be that bad. Maybe they just have some grievances we don’t understand. However, there is a huge difference between having a grievance and wanting to see a complete nationality or ethnic group of people disappear off the face of the earth.


Dan: I think in our young generation are people for whom there is no truth. There is no absolute truth. Everything is a question of feeling. It is identity politics at its very best. I feel this way therefore that is true. That is what we are seeing today on many University campuses in something called intersectionality. It means if you want to be a humanistic moral person you have to be on the frontlines with Black Lives Matter, Gay Lives Matter, and LGBQ. You have to be an Israel hater. You have to sign up for every aggrieved minority or self styled minority group in order to be a moral player. You cannot choose your issue any more. It is all or nothing according to that so-called universalistic ideology and that creates a real problem.


Listen to the Israel News Talk Radio—Beyond the Matrix program: Hydra Warfare—What Really Is Going on in Gaza?



Jerome B Gordon is a Senior Vice President of the New English Review and author of The West Speaks, NER Press 2012. Mr. Gordon is a former US Army intelligence officer who served during the Viet Nam era. He was the co-host and co-producer of weekly The Lisa Benson Show for National Security that aired out of KKNT960 in Phoenix Arizona from 2013 to 2016. He is co-host and co-producer of the Middle East Round Table periodic series on 1330amWEBY, Northwest Florida Talk Radio, Pensacola, Florida.

More by Jerry Gordon.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast



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