Hamas’ Human Shield Tactic as Reported by Foreign Journalists
1. The Gaza correspondent of Canada’s Globe and Mail, Patrick Martin, wrote in his article from 20 July: “The presence of militant fighters in Shejaia became clear Sunday afternoon when, under the cover of a humanitarian truce intended to allow both sides to remove the dead and wounded, several armed Palestinians scurried from the scene.Some bore their weapons openly, slung over their shoulder, but at least two, disguised as women, were seen walking off with weapons partly concealed under their robes. Another had his weapon wrapped in a baby blanket and held on his chest as if it were an infant.”
2. Canadian TV correspondent Janis Mackey Frayer tweeted the following on 20 July:
Inside Shejaiyya we also saw several #Hamas gunmen. One passed dressed in a woman’s headscarf… tip of a gun poked out from under cloak.
— Janis Mackey Frayer (@janisctv) July 20, 2014
3. Washington Post correspondent Willian Booth, reporting from Gaza, wrote in an article from 15 July: “At the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, crowds gathered to throw shoes and eggs at the Palestinian Authority’s health minister, who represents the crumbling “unity government” in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The minister was turned away before he reached the hospital, which has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.”
4. Another report by Washington Post correspondents from 17 July recounts: “During the lull, a group of men at a mosque in northern Gaza said they had returned to clean up the green glass from windows shattered in the previous day’s bombardment. But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque.” 5. Wall Street Journal Correspondent Nick Casey tweeted the following:
6. The Japanese daily Mainichi’s correspondent in Gaza reported on 21 July:
- Hamas criticizes that ‘Israel massacres civilians’. On the other hand, it tries to use evacuating civilians and journalists by stopping them and turning them into ‘human shields,’ counteracting thoroughly with its guerrilla tactics…
- Hamas’s “Human Shield” strategy is also aimed at foreign journalists…During the current battle, Hamas’s checkpoint was bombarded, and there was temporary checkpoint at another location. To some 20 journalists who wished to leave, Hamas staff member suddenly told, “Israel closed the checkpoint… However, when I called IDF personnel at the checkpoint, he said that “We haven’t got attacked and we are open as usual…”. While were discussing what to do, the same Hamas staff member shouted, “in 5 minutes Israel seems to conduct an airstrike on here. Return immediately to Gaza!”. All the journalists returned to Gaza by car. But we remembered that Hamas, during the conflict with Israel in November 2012, also closed checkpoints to block outflow.
7. Huffington Post’s Middle East reporter, Sophia Jones, tweeted on 15 July:
The Israeli side of the border with gaza was briefly open today, but Hamas did not let journalists leave Gaza.
— Sophia Jones (@Sophia_MJones) July 20, 2014