By Sheree Trotter for the Dominion Post and Stuff…

John Minto has wasted no time in attempting to lecture the incoming Minister of Foreign Affairs, MP Nanaia Mahuta, on what he thinks she should be doing in the Middle East and in urging his followers to bombard her with emails.

He has no compunction in spouting a distorted picture of what is a complex conflict.

Minto fails to mention that the so-called ‘Great March of Return’ consisted of a series of violent riots, organised, coordinated and directed by Hamas, an internationally designated terrorist organisation that is in an armed conflict with Israel.

A case study undertaken by the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights found that:

The mass violent events that took place in the area of the security barrier were “unusual in their scope and in the intensity of the threat that they posed”. Tens of thousands of people participated. Under the cover of the riots, grenade and explosive devices were hurled towards the Israel Defence Forces troops, live ammunition was fired at the soldiers and explosive devices were hurled towards Israeli territory, in addition to the flying of incendiary kites intended to harm towns and residents of Israel near the Gaza periphery.

The riots continued uninterrupted from the morning hours until the evening hours and occurred simultaneously at a number of geographical focus points. Some of the participants in the riots acted with the clear and determined goal of breaching the security barrier between the State of Israel and the Gaza Strip, infiltrating into Israeli territory and harming the security forces. Some of the rioters equipped themselves with arms.

Read Sheree Trotter’s full article on the Israel Institute of NZ here.