Hamas Terror Manual Says ‘Presence of Civilians Are Pockets of Resistance,’ Codifying Policy of Using Gazans as ‘Human Shields’
The Israel Defense Forces on Monday revealed their discovery of a Hamas manual on ‘Urban Warfare’ that showed how its Al-Qassam Brigades understood Israel’s military ethics, and sought to subvert them.
The IDF said the pamphlet was produced by the Shuja’iya Brigade, from the city of the same name in northern Gaza, where the bloodiest fighting in Israel’s Operation Protective Edge occurred, because the entire city was being used to hide arms and rockets and it was a site fought over by Hamas and rival Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“The discovery of this manual suggests that the destruction in Shuja’iya was always part of Hamas’s plan,” the IDF said.
“Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has continuously used the civilian population of Gaza as human shields,” the IDF said. “The discovery of a Hamas ‘urban warfare’ manual by IDF forces reveals that Hamas’s callous use of the Gazan population was intentional and pre-planned.”
“This Hamas urban warfare manual exposes two truths: (1) The terror group knows full well that the IDF will do what it can to limit civilian casualties. (2) The terror group exploits these efforts by using civilians as human shields against advancing IDF forces.”
Translating several sections for re-print, the IDF said, “Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from using larger firepower to support for infantry,” and noted that it described the “presence of civilians” as “pockets of resistance” that cause Israeli troops to delay opening fire.
The guide also argues for greater “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]).”
The IDF said: “It is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF and support their fighters.”
The news sparked a series of questions from journalists, including in The Jerusalem Post, asking if the existence of the documents could be used to not only clear Israel of accusations against it for “human rights violations” in Gaza, but indict Hamas and the greater Palestinian Authority for purposefully, and methodically, leading their own people into harm’s way.