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Hamas manual: Use of population as “human shields”

IDF forces in the Gaza Strip found a Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare,” belonging to Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, that explains how the civilian population can be used against IDF forces and reveals that Hamas knows the IDF is committed to minimizing harm to civilians.
The manual reveals that Hamas’ use of the Gazan population as human shields was intentional and pre-planned.
In a portion entitled “Limiting the Use of Weapons,” the manual explains that, “The soldiers and commanders [of the IDF] must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].” The manual goes on to explain that the “presence of civilians in pockets of resistance” creates major problems for IDF troops, including “Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it.” Lastly, the manual discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed. The destruction of homes, it notes, “increases the hatred of the citizens towards the [IDF] attackers and increases their gathering around the city defenders [i.e. Hamas].”

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