Hamas Combat Manual Explains Benefits of Using Human Shields

This is one of the many positive things to come out of Operation Protective Edge.  The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has found a Hamas combat manual explaining the importance of using human shields.  Below is an excerpt from the IDF report:

IDF forces in the Gaza Strip found a Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare,” which belonged to the Shuja’iya Brigade of Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. The manual 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.

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has continuously used the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals that Hamas’ callous use of the Gazan population was intentional and preplanned.

This Hamas urban warfare manual exposes two truths: (1) The terror group knows full well that the IDF will do what it can to limit civilian casualties. (2) The terror group exploits these efforts by using civilians as human shields against advancing IDF forces.

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].

Clearly Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from using larger firepower to support for infantry.

The manual goes on to explain that the “presence of civilians are pockets of resistance” that cause three major problems for advancing troops:

(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

Lastly, the manual discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed:

The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] and increases their gathering [support] around the city defenders (resistance forces[i.e. Hamas]).

It is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF and support their fighters.

I’m ashamed that the IDF felt the need to report it because it should be patently obvious to everyone by now.  An imbecile should know it, especially since we have video footage of Hamas firing rockets from hospitals, mosques, and schools, and we know that they stored weapons in U.N. schools. 

Physical evidence is not enough for a large number of people who are either brain-dead morons or anti-Semites to the core.  I’m afraid that masses of people live by this principle: I’ve made up my mind and facts don’t matter.  I just wish they understood that they are complicit in Hamas’ actions since their support is an important reason why Hamas uses human shields.  If the public reacted negatively, they would stop it.

So rest easy tonight Hamas supporters, if you can.  If I were complicit in murder it would trouble me greatly.

Neil Snyder is the Ralph A. Beeton Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia.  His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.