The Jerusalem Post carries an exclusive today detailing a new report from Israel’s Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (Malam) showing that Hamas used more than 100 mosques and hospitals as well as areas they knew to be populated with children as shields from which to fire rockets at Israel during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
According to the paper: “The IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) cooperated with the report’s authors and declassified hundreds of photographs, videos, prisoner interrogations and Hamas-drawn sketches as part of an effort to counter the criticism leveled at Israel in the UN-sponsored Goldstone Report.”
The research group was led by Col. Reuven Erlich, a former Intelligence officer. Erlich was quoted as saying: “By placing all of their weaponry next to homes, by operating out of homes, mosques and hospitals, by firing rockets next to schools and by using human shields, Hamas is the one responsible for the civilian deaths during the operation”.
As an example of how Hamas deliberately used civilian homes as shields, the report quoted a note from Hamas found by the IDF in one home saying: “We are your brothers, fighters in this holy war, and we used your home and some of your possessions. We are sorry.”Robin Shepherd is director, International Affairs, at the Henry Jackson Society in London, and has held senior fellowships at some of the world’s most prestigious public policy institutes since leaving international journalism in 2003 when his last position was Moscow Bureau Chief for The Times of London.
Well, it will be interesting to see how extensively this report is covered in the western media. At the time of writing this article, the BBC website did have a report up on the use of human shields in Gaza…about Israeli soldiers allegedly using Palestinians as human shields.