Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, Israeli officials have insisted that Hamas was firing rockets from densely populated areas. Even after a month of fighting, scant evidence emerged from the mainstream media.
But now, media sources are emerging with video proof that Hams is, indeed, deliberately putting Palestinian civilians at risk in its offensive against Israel.
NDTV, an Indian broadcaster, ran footage shot mostly out of a hotel window in a populated area of Gaza showing a rocket launcher being assembled and ultimately fired at Israel.
The video starts with the reporter Sreenivasan Jain pointing out a blue tent that suddenly appeared near the hotel partially obscuring from view the work being done putting together a rocket launcher.
“There has always been this question of how Hamas manages to fire its rockets without being detected by the Israelis,” Jain says in the video. “This perhaps is one of the ways of assembling it, under a tent.
“It also establishes something Hamas has always been accused of – that they actually use densely populated civilian areas to fire their rockets,” Jain added, zooming the camera out to show the residential area. “If Hamas does fire a rocket from here, it will have immediate consequences for everyone around here.”
One day later, the film crew caught footage of the rocket launcher firing into Israel, just minutes before the 72-hour went into effect.
During the same period, another video surfaced from France 24 News showing Hamas rockets in civilian areas.
The video shows reporter Gallagher Fenwick reacting to rocket fire just 50 yards away from him. “This was a rocket fired right next to where we’re standing,” he says in the video.
He then shows the rocket launchers still sticking out of the ground in the area. “Israel has repeatedly accused Palestinian militants of shooting from densely populated civilian areas, and that is precisely the set-up we have right here,” he said.
He also noted that about 100 yards behind him was a UN building. “This rocket launching site is right next to a UN facility,” he said.
The issue of Hamas launch sites has been heavily discussed in the media over the past week, especially after the New York Times claimed that it had failed to capture any photos of Hamas terrorists in action. The lastest videos conclusively prove Hamas deliberately fired from civilian areas without concern for Palestinian lives.
In addition, Hamas’ terror tunnels have also gained signficant attention. An AP article about the impact of the war on Gaza towns includes the following information implicating Hamas in exploiting civilian areas:
Asmahan Ismail Abu al-Rous started wondering a year ago about the cause of the cracks on the walls of her Gaza home. When she asked some of her more savvy neighbors, they told her: Militants were digging an attack tunnel not far away.
“I did not think much about it then. I thought that was the resistance’s business, not mine,” the widowed mother of four said Tuesday, standing amid the ruins of her two-story home in the Shawkah district, an eastern section of Rafah near Gaza’s border with Egypt.
Barely 50 meters (yards) away, according to villagers, is an entrance of the tunnel where Hamas fighters emerged Friday to attack Israeli soldiers. Two Israelis were killed and a third was initially believed to be captured by the militants.
The strategy appears to be consistent with the strategy depicted in a Hamas combat manual captured and publicized by the IDF this week.
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.
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