Hamas Combat Manual Found In Gaza Encourages Use Of Palestinian Civillians As Human Shields

During one of the operations carried out recently by the Israeli Defense Forces in Shujaiya, a suburb of Gaza, Hamas’ urban combat manuals were found, excerpts of which have been published in the last few days for all to see.

On Monday, the IDF published on its official website disturbing excerpts from the manual, which ground forces found while searching for terror tunnels in the Gaza suburb.

The report alleges that Hamas, the terror organization in Gaza which controls the strip, exploits and uses its own civilian population in a cynical and cowardly way.

One example is a paragraph from the Hamas manual which states:

“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].”

As such, it is a damning condemnation of the Hamas war machine, which associates itself with ISIS, The Muslim Brotherhood, and Boko Haram, as it echoes recent Hamas rhetoric in the media with talk of glorifying civilians used as human shields calling them, “holy warriors” and “martyrs.”

According also to Breitbart.com, the manual says that the: “presence of civilians are pockets of resistance,” in that their presence can contribute to the organization’s war effort in three specific ways:

  1. Problems with opening fire
  2. Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations and afterward
  3. Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it

The New York Post also reported that the manual goes one step further, as it illustrates how, even if civilians heed IDF warning to leave — which Hamas encourages them to ignore — the destruction to homes can be used to their advantage:

“The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] and increases their gathering [support] around the city defenders (resistance forces[i.e. Hamas]).”

If this is true, it gives a whole new perspective to media reports that Israel is responsible for the tragic Palestinian civilian deaths. After all, what is any army protecting its citizens from daily rocket barrages, supposed to do if the people firing the rockets are doing so from houses or backyards of innocent civilian’s?

Sadly, it is the average Palestinian, who wants to go about his or her everyday life, who suffers as a result of Hamas’ cynical and morally corrupt policies.

Khayri Hasan al-Masri, a father of three who returned to heavily-damaged Beit Hanun in Gaza for the first time since fleeing when the ground offensive began on July 17, said to reporters on his return:

“Is this is really my town? What am I going to tell my wife and children? I don’t want them to see this! They will go crazy. How can I explain all this?”

Perhaps Khayri or his wife should have a word with the powers that be at Hamas and tell them that using Palestinians as human shields while firing rockets on the “enemy” is not such a good idea, and really not very fair on anyone.