The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted a photograph of Hamas firing a rocket at Israel from within a civilian area of the Gaza Strip, accusing the terror group of using “human shields,” as it has done in previous conflicts.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 8, 2014
Hamas sees the use of human shields as a “win-win,” since if doing so deters an Israeli response, its fighters and weapons will be safe, and if Israel does respond, the civilian casualties can be exploited for propaganda uses.
In 2008, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affiars provided detailed evidence of Hamas’s use of human shields in Gaza. During 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense, a Hamas official boasted of using human shields in the fight.
Using human shields is contrary to international humanitarian law and the laws of war. The IDF also hopes to counter Palestinian propaganda on Twitter, which has featured fake or old photos of alleged Israeli attacks.