IDF Warning Gaza Residents Before Airstrikes, Hamas Encouraging ‘Human Shields’
JNS.org – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is using leaflets and phone calls to warn Gaza residents to evacuate buildings prior to airstrikes on Hamas terrorists.
“To the people of the Gaza Strip: The terrorists and smugglers are well aware that their terrorist acts of digging tunnels to smuggle military ammunition is a target for the Israel Defense Forces, but they keep working and taking cover near your residences,” read an IDF leaflet translated from Arabic.
“Do not stand still. You are being used by terrorists who will not be by your side when you get hurt. Take responsibility for your future!” added the leaflet.
Israel has a history of using leaflets and phone calls to warn civilians that an airstrike is impending, using the same approach during previous Gaza operations in 2008 and 2012.
Meanwhile, reports indicate that Hamas is encouraging Gaza residents to act as “human shields,” referring to the deliberate placement of civilians in harm’s way in order to prevent a strike on a particular target. A video posted by the IDF on Wednesday shows an IDF aircraft targeting a building with a non-lethal bomb as a warning shot to residents, allowing them time to leave before the IDF targets the building with live ammunition. But the video reveals that after the residents flee, many others come to the roof to act as human shields.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri was seen on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV praising the human shields, calling them “effective,” the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported.