None of this information is new, but it’s now officially confirmed–by Hamas. They should be universally condemned–but likely won’t.
A Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare” found by the Israeli Defense Forces makes it unmistakably clear that Hamas desires civilian casualties amongst its own people and encourages its fighters to engage in battles in civilian populated areas in order to draw an Israeli response.
“Where is the UN Human Rights Council? Where is Amnesty International? Where is Human Rights Watch? Where is the international media and Middle East pundits. Where are all the lawfare experts? Here is ‘Exhibit A’ to indict Hamas for war crimes and crimes against humanity by placing the people of Gaza as human shields,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier & Abraham Cooper, dean and founder & associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
From the IDF Blog:
IDF forces in the Gaza Strip found a Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare,” which belonged to the Shuja’iya Brigade of Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. The manual explains how the civilian population can be used against IDF forces & reveals that Hamas knows the IDF is committed to minimizing harm to civilians.
Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has continuously used the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals that Hamas’ callous use of the Gazan population was intentional & preplanned.
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.
In a portion entitled “Limiting the Use of Weapons,” the manual explains that:
The soldiers & commanders (of the IDF) must limit their use of weapons & tactics that lead to the harm & unnecessary loss of people & [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].
Clearly 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.
The manual goes on to explain that the “presence of civilians are pockets of resistance” that cause three major problems for advancing troops:
(1) Problems with opening fire
(2) Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations & afterward
(3) Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it
Lastly, the manual discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed:
The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] & increases their gathering [support] around the city defenders (resistance forces[i.e. Hamas]).
It is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes & civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF & support their fighters.
Why Shuja’iya is Important
It is also of no small importance that this manual belongs to the Shuja’iya Brigade. The IDF fought a major battle in the neighborhood of Shuja’iya, which had been turned into a terrorist stronghold. The discovery of this manual suggests that the destruction in Shuja’iya was always part of Hamas’ plan.