Hamas Explains Use of Civilians as Human Shields

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By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

“We desire death as you desire life.”

The United Nations announced 51 civilians died in the Gaza conflict. That figure is high, but to really understand what is going on, we need to realize that the Hamas ideology includes the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields to protect Hamas fighters. Even if a few Hamas fighters are killed, many more Palestinian civilians will also be killed. This is good PR for Hamas and bad PR for Israel.

Hamas continues to promote their religious ideology that death for Allah is an ideal to be actively pursued.

Woman and Children as Human Shields

The goal of Hamas is to convince Palestinians, including – and especially – women and children, not to fear death but to face it as their religious duty to protect Hamas fighters. When Hamas sets up its military installations and fighters among civilians, this is a deliberate tactic, part of their ideology and strategy. It is the reason for most of these 51 deaths.

Earlier this year, in the PA legislative council, a Hamas representative openly showed his pride in Hamas’ use of women and children as human shields to fight against Israel. He told all who would listen, that Palestinians excel in the “death industry” they designed themselves. He said Palestinians “desire death” with the same intensity that Israelis “desire life.”

Human Shields and the Death Industry

Fathi Hamad, a Hamas representative, confirmed Hamas’ methods. He said, “For the Palestinian people, death became an industry, at which women excel and so do all people on this land: the elderly excel, the Jihad fighters excel, and the children excel. Accordingly [Palestinians] created a human shield of women, children, the elderly and the Jihad fighters against the Zionist bombing machine, as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: We desire death as you desire life.”