JERUSALEM — A captured Hamas combat manual belonging to the Al-Qassam Brigades, the terrorist organization’s military wing, confirms what Hamas sympathizers and the United Nations have done their best to ignore for weeks: Hamas deliberately uses its civilians as human shields, and knows that Israel will take extreme precautions not to kill those civilians.
According to the contents of the manual, posted on the IDF blog, Hamas calls civilians “pockets of resistance” that force Israeli soldiers into several sets of problems:
1) Problems with opening fire
2) Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations and afterward
3) Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it
Additionally, the manual describes the desired effects of civilian homes being destroyed:
The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] and increases their gathering around the city defenders [Hamas].
Perhaps most shockingly, Hamas admits what they have tried to deny in the media over the course of the entire conflict: Israel goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties, and operating from civilian neighborhoods severely limits the ability of the IDF to use their weapons.
From a section titled “Limiting the Use of Weapons”:
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.)
With the capture of this combat manual, any claim from Hamas apologists about how the “human shield argument” is invalid can be forcefully rejected.