Palestinians inspect the rubble of their homes following an Israeli air strike in Rafah in southern Gaza yesterday. (Ismael Mohamad/UPI)

Following Israel’s attack Tuesday against a U.N.-run school at the Jabalya United Nations Relief and Welfare Agency (UNRWA) refugee camp, in which 40 people were killed, Israeli intelligence has provided the media in Israel with evidence that Hamas has extensively used civilians as human shields. Such acts are considered war crimes under numerous international agreements.

Senior Hamas officials now roam about around Gaza without uniforms and with children in their arms to protect themselves against attack from Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops. They also routinely operate out of hospitals, schools and densely populated areas.

Hamas has transformed several mosques into bunkers where it stores rockets and other weaponry. Consequently, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has destroyed at least four Gaza mosques over the past two weeks.

The terror group currently, according to reports, operates from a new underground headquarters located beneath the children’s ward at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital. Hamas’ naval force members have meanwhile taken refuge at a school in Khan Yunis.

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The Hamas leader who conceived of the Hamas human shield defense method was Nizar Rayan, a prominent Hamas leader who was killed by the IDF last week, conceived the plan to use civilians as human shields.

“They’ve brought the use of children to new peaks,” IDF officials told the media. “They’ve turned them into a human defensive shield. Israeli Air Force have refrained numerous times from attacking Hamas men after they said that there were children in their midst.”

In this context, Israel has lodged a complaint to the U.N. over terrorist activities at UNRWA facilities after a Hamas squad used the U.N. school in Jabalya as protection for its members.

Hamas Shoots Fatah Activists And Forbids Civilians To Flee Homes

As fight in Gaza Strip ran into its eleventh day, the Arab media broadcast footage of the IAF bombing Beit Lahiya, Jabalya and the Sajaiya and Zeitoun
neighborhoods of Gaza city. Meanwhile, the Israel Navy shelled the
Sudaniya and Atatra areas along the shore of the northern Gaza Strip. IDF troops remain in central Gaza, near Khan Yunis, and further Israeli army advances are expected.

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.