Hamas fighters have acknowledged that the terror organization used civilian structures to hide its operatives and conduct attacks. Using information that was published on the Shin Bet’s website in Hebrew, Israel Hayom reported yesterday:
“During interrogations of Hamas operatives arrested during the Gaza operation, it has become disconcertingly clear that Hamas is using public buildings as bases of operations and that it is using civilians for cover, as it assumes Israel would refrain from targeting such places,” the report said. … A Hamas operative identified as Abd el-Rahman Baalusha, from Khan Younis, revealed that the Gaza City mosques of Al-Safa and Al-Abra were routinely used as gathering points for Hamas operatives.
Muhammad Ramadan from Khan Yunis said his anti-tank weapons training took place in a hall located under the Alshafi mosque in Khan Yunis. He added that the hall serves as an Izzadin Al-Kassam Brigades training and instruction facility, and is closed to non-military personnel.
The interrogations corroborate the results of a recently released declassified report that documents how Hamas turned Gaza into a virtual fortress, using the territory’s residents as human shields. A video produced by the IDF (embedded below) shows how damage to civilian buildings in Gaza came in response to attacks launched from them. While some activists denied that Hamas used human shields, Israeli sources and reporters have documented instances of the tactic. A Hamas training manual advocated the use of human shields to hinder the IDF, and a Hamas spokesman confirmed that his organization uses human shields. [Photo: Israel’s Foreign Affairs Min. / YouTube ]