|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.”â€¨
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.â€¨â€¨
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 Zeitounâ€¨neighborhoods of Gaza city. Meanwhile, the Israel Navy shelled theâ€¨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 email@example.com.