I’ve mentioned several times in the past couple of weeks the menace of Hamas’s placement and launching of their rockets into Israel from residential neighbourhoods, schools, mosques and UN institutions. Whenever Israel fires back it inevitably hits civilians which leads to widespread international condemnation, regardless of the fact that according to the Hague Conventions of the laws of warfare it is not illegal to fire back at enemy fire, even if the enemy fire is located amongst civilians. In fact it is the enemy – Hamas – who is legally held responsible for any civilian casualties caused by their hiding amongst the civilian population.
When Israel has tried to argue its case it is often met with derision or even accusations of outright lying, because, after all, no one has actual proof of these rockets being fired from such areas – even though the IDF has done its best to provide video confirmation.
In fact the IDF has a video clip of the Hamas spokesman specifically calling on the Palestinians to serve as human shields!
In even more dramatic proof of Hamas’s nefarious methods, (h/t Henry) the IDF managed to capture a Hamas handbook explaining the benefit of human shields:
Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has continuously used the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals that Hamas’ callous use of the Gazan population was intentional and preplanned.
This Hamas urban warfare manual exposes two truths: (1) The terror group knows full well that the IDF will do what it can to limit civilian casualties. (2) The terror group exploits these efforts by using civilians as human shields against advancing IDF forces.
In a portion entitled “Limiting the Use of Weapons,” the manual explains that:
The soldiers and commanders (of the IDF) must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].
Clearly Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from using larger firepower to support for infantry.
It is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF and support their fighters.
Why Shuja’iya is Important
It is also of no small importance that this manual belongs to the Shuja’iya Brigade. The IDF fought a major battle in the neighborhood of Shuja’iya, which had been turned into a terrorist stronghold. The discovery of this manual suggests that the destruction in Shuja’iya was always part of Hamas’ plan.
Read the whole horrifying article.
In case the IDF’s proof is not enough for you, now that the war is over, or at least a temporary truce is holding, foreign journalists are feeling safe enough from Hamas’s intimidation to step forward with their own videos and stories incriminating Hamas’s in their use of civilian use of civilians and residential neighbourhoods as human shields a. I mentioned a few of these stories in a previous post. Check out these stories:
The BBC has admitted that some of the “Gaza under attack” images are fabricated (h/t Lynda). This may have been posted here at the beginning of the hostilities but it bears repeating:
A little-known division of the corporation called BBC Trending says that many of images being shared on social media under the #GazaUnderAttack hashtag are in fact several years old, and in some cases from different conflicts.
In one case, a Twitter user posted multiple images with the caption: “This is not a matter of religion. This is a matter of humanity #GazaUnderAttack” – except one of the images was from Syria last month, and another from Baghdad in 2007.
The BBC itself, however, is not immune from sharing inaccurate images. Journalist Tom Gross, who monitors Middle Eastern media, added: “What the BBC item doesn’t point out is that some of the most senior BBC correspondents in the Middle East, such as Jon Donnison have been responsible for sending out these inaccurate photos on their BBC twitter feeds!”
Keep this strategy in mind as you read (via Israellycool) about this CNN interview with Lee Habeeb, a columnist for Salem News, who asks CNN “Where are the Hamas soldiers?”:
For some real-live action, here’s a very dramatic video filmed by the Indian station NDTV, showing Hamas assembling a rocket right outside their hotel room! (h/t Mum):
The same rocket launching pad is shown in this France 24 video:
As for what the Palestinian human shields think of these tactics, here is the view of Brigitte Gabriel, the Lebanese author and anti-terrorism activist, who survived being used as a human shield as a child in Lebanon. Note that the actions of the PLO and Hezbollah are identical to those of Hamas:
As a final bonus, here once again is the wonderful Naftali Bennett defending the IDF’s actions on Sky News against a snidely hostile anchor:
Anyone who still thinks that the IDF deliberately targets civilians and schools must need their heads examined after watching these videos.
In fact, if they did use their heads they would realise that if Israel really wanted to massacre children they would bomb schools during school time when they were full of children! If Israel wanted to commit genocide, don’t they think the IDF would have achieved that by now? What purpose do they think Israel gains from targeting civilians?
I think that Israel has become a victim of its own success. We have become so adept at avoiding civilian casualties, contrary to all reports, that people expect us to always avoid hitting civilians when that is a statistical and practical impossibility. So as soon as a civilian is killed Israel is accused of war crimes and disproportionality. Perhaps we should start carpet bombing for a bit just to show the world what genocide and disproportionality really look like.
(Don’t worry, I’m only being sarcastic here. A bit…)