Canada’s The Globe and Mail Reports Seeing Hamas Fighters Dressed as Women, One Concealing Weapon in Baby Blanket Like an Infant
Canada’s The Globe and Mail on Monday reported seeing Hamas militants in Shuja’iya, during a humanitarian truce, disguised as women, with one concealing his weapon in a baby’s blanket “as if it were an infant.”
“The presence of militant fighters in Shejaia became clear Sunday afternoon when, under the cover of a humanitarian truce intended to allow both sides to remove the dead and wounded, several armed Palestinians scurried from the scene.”
“Some bore their weapons openly, slung over their shoulder, but at least two, disguised as women, were seen walking off with weapons partly concealed under their robes. Another had his weapon wrapped in a baby blanket and held on his chest as if it were an infant.”
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The telling detail was in the middle of the article, which focused on the brutality of the battle:
“The majority of both Palestinians and Israelis were killed in one community, the border town of Shejaia, the battle for which will long be remembered for its carnage and for the flight of tens of thousands of its citizens – an exodus of biblical proportions…”
“The shelling of Shejaia took its toll of the civilian population there. While the Israelis had warned citizens two days earlier to leave, many had refused in large part because Hamas said it expected people to remain.”
On Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces described the residential neighborhood of Shuja’iya, a mile from the Israeli border, as a “fortress for its weapons,”publishing declassified aerial photos showing how rockets were hidden in mosques, hospitals, playgrounds and cemeteries, as well as a cut-through diagram showing how a mosque and two adjacent buildings, connected by tunnels that extend to the Israeli border, was used as a depot for Hamas rockets.
The IDF said that, as well as the proximity to the Israeli border, the density of tunnels and weapons is due to Shuja’iya also being a battleground between Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, with their internal turmoil in Gaza brewing since 2007.
“Both terrorist organizations have spent the past seven years actively trying to increase their influence in the neighborhood,” the IDF said. “The rivalry has created an arena in which each organization strives to be regarded as the leaders in the fight against Israel. This has resulted in the neighborhood’s deterioration from a civilian residential area into a terrorist fortress.”
The IDF said it had warned civilians in Shuja’iya to evacuate, by “dropping leaflets, making phone calls and sending text messages,” although many ignored Israel’s warnings after Hamas instructed them to stay put.