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May 10, 2015 11:46 am

IDF Commander: Hamas Transformed the Gazan Civilian Sector Into War Zone

avatar by David Daoud

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Colonel Uri Gordin said that during Operation Protective Edge, Hamas had turned the entire civilian sector into a combat zone.

Speaking last week at the International Ground Forces Ceremony in Latrun, IDF Col. Uri Gordin — who commanded the Nahal Brigade during Operation Protective Edge last summer — discussed the differences between how Israel and Hamas treat their civilians.

He said Israel “aims to protect its civilian population. The Israeli fighter endangers himself to protect civilians.” By contrast, Hamas “was not trying to stop us, but wanted us to harm civilians… This way, it can negatively impact Israel’s legitimacy to act against it.”

Another of Hamas’ goals was to “obtain victory photos. One particular way was to kidnap soldiers. In such a situation, the fear of having a soldier kidnapped made us act differently.”

The asymmetry between Hamas and Israel was not only tactical, he said, but also moral.

Gordin said, “there is also a difference in values between us and Hamas. The commitment of the commanders is one aspect of it.” He said Hamas commanders would flee after the IDF inflicted casualties on their fighters.

In contrast to Israel, “their commitment to their fighters does not exist, whereas in the IDF, this is a supreme value.”

This moral asymmetry was most pronounced when it came to civilian lives, said Gordin.

“In the course of our operations, we found a Palestinian family inside a house. The unit carried out a non-violent entry despite the risk of being ambushed… This is just one example of the IDF’s concern for Palestinian civilians,” he said.

“Hamas constantly tried to drag us into urban areas,” said Gordin, which “forced us to use civilian buildings.”

“In one operation, they shot at us from inside a school,” recalled Gordin. “In a quarter of the buildings we entered, we found explosive devices.”

He said, “you cannot fight without entering into these buildings, and in every fourth house, we found a bomb. This is an operational challenge. The entire civilian space was organized as a war zone.”

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  • Lynne T

    What “Breaking the Silence” and the wealthy European (and American) NGOs don’t want us to think about.

  • Atilla

    The IDF should make NO concessions to minimizing so-called ‘civilian deaths ‘ in the next Gaza conflict.

    It is a double negative, it places unnecessary dangers to IDF personal and restricts a truly effective and rapid resolution to the conflict.

  • Mireille Mechoullam

    I wish the media would see the effort you make to protect lives. For my sorrow the media is twisted. How sad specially for these people who have to live with bombs that can be detonated by accident.

    • Tony Trenton

      unfortunately all we read is the destructive journalese of a few bigoted journalists and their editors.

      They do not represent the rest of the world’s opinion.

      As much as their faulty ego’s long to hope for.

  • Judy Silver-Shapiro

    Yet HERR obama, the UN, Europe and ANTI SEMITES worldwide blame ISRAEL for conditions in hamas’ Gaza. Their corrupt ‘leaders’ and abu-mazen abbas live in sumptuous mansions, drive Rolls Royces, own Gulfstream jets as their wives relgularly spend millions at Parisian haute couture houses while they frolic and reproduce with their plentiful concubines.

  • Anthony dayton

    Uri Gordin should get rebuttal status for the hatchet job by 60 Minutes, May 3.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    Does Israel want to prevail in the next war?

    Do the Israelis want the next Gaza war to be the last?

    If so, they’re going to have to utilize far more ruthless methods.

  • brenrod

    IDF soldiers should not die in order to protect enemy civilian lives. blow up the houses before entering, I would not send my son to die for enemy civilian lives. It is absurd, but Jews are known to accept double standards.

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    Hamas are cowards!