When terrorists disguise themselves as civilians, it can only end badly for civilians. Today, a senior Islamic Jihad operative was targeted while driving a press vehicle, effectively disguising himself as a reporter. By doing so, he risked the lives of all journalists in the Gaza Strip.
Over the past several days, the IDF (Zahal) has carefully pinpointed and targeted sites used by terror groups in the Gaza Strip, most notably the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Terrorists complicate the task by systematically using civilian facilities and locations as a cover for their operations.
The “human shield” method, as it is commonly known, has forced the IDF (Zahal) to target seemingly non-military targets, resulting in some of the civilian casualties. It has also endangered all residents of the Gaza Strip who, without their consent, were unwittingly dragged into the conflict.
One such example came in today, when a senior Islamic Jihad operative was targeted while driving a press vehicle. Muhammed Shamalah, commander of Islamic Jihad’s forces in the southern Strip and head of Islamic Jihad’s militant training programs, was targeted by an Israeli air strike while driving a car clearly labelled “TV”, indicating it to be a press vehicle, abusing the protection afforded to journalists.
The incident occurred on the same day that four senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives took over a floor of the foreign press building in Gaza and used it as a meeting place, risking the lives of all journalists inside. The IDF (Zahal) targeted the operatives and a direct hit was confirmed. Journalists have been warned to stay away from terrorists or terror sites in Gaza, for their own safety.
(Read more about the targeted Islamic Jihad operatives: Baha Abu al-Ata, Tissir Mahmoud Mahmed Jabari, Halil Batini, and Ramaz Harab.)