Reports of Hamas trapping journalists in the Gaza Strip, are being received, a repeat of a standard Hamas tactic. The Iranian-backed terror group has used journalists and reporters as human shields on many occasions, just as they have used media and other civilian facilities for military purposes.
Reports say at least 22 foreign nationals are trapped in the Gaza Strip. Among the foreigners trying to exit the Hamas-controlled territory for Israel, are journalists including Italian citizens, one Canadian, one South Korean, a French national and six journalists from Japan.
Israel says it is keeping the Erez crossing into Gaza open, in part, to facilitate the travel of foreign press, diplomats, and humanitarian workers.
This action by Hamas raises the possibility that they are preparing to endanger journalists, using them as human shields, to increase the risks of any Israeli operations that seek to degrade Hamas weapons caches or intercept military operations by Hamas and other terrorist groups.
Hamas has used this same tactic in previous clashes with Israel. On January 1, 2009, during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, Al Arabiya TV aired live coverage of their reporter, Hannan al-Masri, laughing as Hamas fired a rocket from the ground floor of their building.
Hamas has militarized many civilian facilities, including hospitals, mosques, schools, and even homes. The IDF has developed sophisticated tactics in an attempt to minimize risk to civilians in combat zones. The IDF uses guided missiles whose course can be changed in real-time if Hamas endangers civilians.
The first video below shows Reporter Hannan al-Masri broadcasting live to air.
In the video, she learns that a Hamas Missile was fired from the Ground Floor of the building housing the Alarabiya Studio. Instead of worrying about retaliatory fire by Israel, she laughs. This is typical of Hamas action, which purposely attacks Israel from places that are hard to attack without involving civilians.
In the next video, the IDF voluntarily changes the course of missiles as Hamas vehicles take cover behind civilian shields.
Hamas politician tells the world they use human shields because they prefer to die, rather than live.