In its fight to defend itself against Hamas attacks against its civilians, Israel is faced with moral challenges unprecedented in their complexity. Hamas, as a basic element of its strategy, exploits the Palestinian population as shields for its terrorist operations and infrastructure. This cynical strategy include:
– The deliberate launching of rocket from populated areas
– The deliberate use of civilian homes to shield Hamas arms and explosives manufacturing facilities
– The deliberate use of civilians as human shields against anticipated airstrikes.

It is a common practice for the Hamas to launch their rockets, aimed at Israeli cities, from within built-up areas, in order to make it difficult for Israel to take preventative action against Hamas rocket salvos, without endangering the Palestinian population. These photos and video clips give evidence of this practice.

When launching rockets against Israel, Hamas terrorists usually do not stay nearby, but rather use timers, radio frequency and other ways to remotely control the launchings. In order to protect the rockets from counter-attack until they are launched, they send children to play near the launchers, or place the launchers near playgrounds.


 Hamas exploitation of civilians as human shields: Photographic evidence

Rockets launched against Israel from populated areas in Gaza Strip

 

 Hamas exploitation of civilians as human shields: Photographic evidence

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 Hamas exploitation of civilians as human shields: Photographic evidence

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 Hamas exploitation of civilians as human shields: Photographic evidence

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Hamas frequently uses civilian homes in the Gaza Strip for the manufacture of rockets, explosives, antitank missiles and other arms being used against Israel. Rockets, explosives and other arms were also found in the mosque in Jabalya.

 Hamas exploitation of civilians as human shields: Photographic evidence

Weapons found in a mosque in Jabalya, including RPG
rockets and hand grenades
(IDF Spokesman)

For example, a factory manufacturing dozens of Kassam rockets a day was located in the basement and first floor of a two-storey building. The terrorist responsible for the factory was housed with his family on that second floor. When Israel targeted the factory, destroying scores of rockets as well as the factory’s capability to continue producing those rockets, civilians in the house were unfortunately hit as well.  

 Hamas exploitation of civilians as human shields: Photographic evidence

A Hamas explosives lab in the ground floor of a residential
building in Jabalya

 Hamas exploitation of civilians as human shields: Photographic evidence

A Hamas Kassam rocket manufacturing shop in the Darj
neighborhood of Gaza

 

The IICC assisted in the gathering of materials presented on this page.