The secretary-general of the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates accused the Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas on Monday of provoking Israeli forces by firing rockets from a field hospital during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, a war crime under international law, Ynet reported.
According to Secretary-General Mohamed Ateeq Al-Falahi, the Red Crescent’s staff was stationed at a UAE field hospital in Gaza when Hamas fighters began firing rockets from their facilities to provoke an Israeli response.
“This shows (Hamas’s) wicked intentions and how they scarified us,” said Al-Falahi. “They always claim the enemy targets humanitarian envoys, but the betrayal came from them,” he added.
Al-Falahi also accused Hamas of attempting to prevent the distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza. “What hurts is that the betrayal came from our own people,” he said. “Muslims fighting Muslims, who were giving humanitarian aid to Muslims,” the secretary-general lamented.
This was not the end of Hamas’s hostility towards the group. When they left, Hamas had the Red Crescent targeted by Sinai jihadists, which shot at them and planted landmines in their path. They “accused us of being spies, undercover foreign intelligences who were escaping,” Al-Falahi explained.
When the Red Crescent left Gaza through Sinai, Hamas had apparently informed “extremist militias in Sinai… that there was a group making their way there, so prepare for jihad against them…,” Al-Falahi said. “As we stopped at a grocery store to buy something to eat, they started shooting at us,” he added.
Hamas has long been accused of using civilians and civilian infrastructure as shields, in violation of international law, to provoke a response from Israel and thereby increase the civilian toll for its own political advantage.
Bilal Razania, the brother of a senior Hamas official, told Israeli interrogators last year that Hamas used the Kamal Adwan hospital in northern Gaza as a military base during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Hamas leaders similarly used Shifa hospital in Gaza City as “a de facto headquarters” during the conflict, The Washington Post reported. A report compiled by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center found that Hamas used over 10 hospitals during Operation Cast Lead in 2008 to launch rockets at Israeli towns and attack Israeli troops.
News crews from France 24 and India’s NDTV recorded incidents of Hamas terrorists setting up and firing rockets from positions located near civilians during the 2014 conflict. A year later, a Polish journalist wrote an op-ed describing how Hamas would fire from populated areas.
Hamas, in fact, admitted to using human shields following Operation Protective Edge.
[Photo: Palestine Red Crescent Society Gaza Strip / YouTube ]