Follows the full text of communique issued by Yigal Palmor, the spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry. There is nothing to add to it and no need to.
9 July 2014
Hamas Uses Civilians as Human Shields
- Israel targets terrorists to protect its civilians. Hamas targets civilians while using its own people for cover.
- Since the beginning of Operation "Protective Edge" Hamas has been actively encouraging Palestinians in Gaza to become human shields by praising it as an act of bravery and proof of steadfastness, an esteemed Palestinian value.
- Hamas cynically exploits the Palestinian civilian population as human shields to protect its terrorist activity against Israel.
- Rocket launching pads and weapon caches are hidden in private homes and public buildings such as schools and mosques.
- Hamas exploits any collateral damage that results from its use of human shields for propaganda purposes.
- Hamas' actions are in clear violation of the most fundamental principles of international law, including the principle of distinction which requires Hamas to clearly distinguish itself from its own civilian population.
- Hamas uses this horrific tactic knowing full well that, as opposed to Hamas, Israel takes every precaution to avoid harming uninvolved civilians. For example, Israel routinely warns residents about impending attacks to enable them to evacuate to safety despite the tactical difficulties this poses.
Recent Examples of Hamas Encouraging Civilians to Become Human Shields
1. On 8 July, Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri appeared on the terrorist organization's al-Aqsa TV network. In the clip, Abu Zuhri can be seen saying that "the fact that people are facing Israeli warplanes bare-chested to protect their homes, I believe this procedure has proved its efficiency. And we in the Hamas movement call on our people to adopt this procedure."
A reporter is heard saying that "the citizens performed a brave deed by congregating on this roof to prevent the conquering force's planes from bombing."
2. A cartoon produced by Hamas calls on Palestinian civilians to form human shields against Israeli attacks. The cartoon depicts how a large group of civilians standing on the roofs of houses creates a metaphorical shield against incoming bombs, and praises the "steadfast people." Cartoons are an important medium for influencing public opinion in Palestinian society.