Hamas sends women and children out to counter Israel troops
Ynet news has reported that when Israeli troops entered Gaza, they were prepared to face off against Hamas soldiers—and, indeed, there was heavy fighting. However, they were first met by 100 women and children. These women and children did not come out to plead for peace. Instead, they were Hamas’s front line.
I’ll be the first to admit that the Ynet report is hard to read because it’s in Hebrew, so I’m operating off of an automatically generated Google translation. However, those who can read Hebrew vouch for the translations: Hamas’s front line was women and children. Here’s the pertinent language:
In the battle for the Hamas stronghold: 100 children and women went out to face the fighters
A war of iron swords : Givati fighters, who are more identified than any other brigade in the IDF with the Gaza arena, lost 13 of their comrades in two serious incidents in the first days of the ground maneuver: 11 soldiers of the Sabar Battalion were killed yesterday (Tuesday) by an anti-tank missile hitting a Nam APC “R” in the north in the Gaza Strip, and two soldiers of the Givat patrol were killed by an anti-tank missile in the building where the force was staying.
During the battle on the 17th Force base adjacent to Jabaliya, the IDF soldiers were faced with an unusual sight: Hamas sent a group of about 100 children and women towards them to act as a human wall. “We are prepared for more cases of such cynical and blatant use of the population,” said one of the officers.
People unfamiliar with history might be disinclined to believe this report, assuming, instead, that it’s Israeli propaganda. However, those of us who were around in the 1980s remember something about the Iran-Iraq War that raged throughout that decade: Iran (which is funding Hamas and provides much of its strategic guidance) relied heavily on brigades made up of young children:
The minimum fighting age on the Iranian side of the conflict was age 16. Children much younger than this, even to age 12 were frequently among the Iranian dead in the fighting.
The Ayatollah Khomeini gave them “keys to paradise” if they died as his martyrs in the war.
As many as 100,000 Iranian children died in the fighting during the course of the Iran-Iraq War.
The children weren’t just sent into battle. Iran also used them to clear land mines. Back in 1984, in a time before Obama when the left still understood that the fanatic Shia Mullahs were the bad guys, Terence Smith wrote an article for the New York Times about how Iran used children:
THEIR TICKET TO PARADISE IS the blood-red headband and the small metal key that they wear into battle. ‘‘Sar Allah,’’ (‘‘Warriors of God’’), some of the headbands read in Farsi script, identifying the wearers as divinely designated martyrs who will use their keys to go directly to heaven if killed in the holy war against Iraq declared by their leader, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The headbands and the keys are worn by young boys, aged 12 to 17, who are recruited by local clergy or simply rounded up in the villages of Iran, given an intensive indoctrination in the Shiite tradition of martyrdom, and then sent weaponless into battle against Iraqi armor. Often bound together in groups of 20 by ropes to prevent the fainthearted from deserting, they hurl themselves on barbed wire or march into Iraqi mine fields in the face of withering machine-gun fire to clear the way for Iranian tanks. Across the back of their khaki-colored shirts is stenciled the slogan: “I have the special permission of the Imam to enter heaven.”
I still remember reading back then, perhaps in the Atlantic, about a seasoned Iraqi general who said the most terrifying sight he ever saw was waves of children heading toward his troops.
With that history in mind, it’s easy to believe the Israeli reports that Hamas soldiers had no problem using women and children to shield them. After all, it’s long been acknowledged that Hamas uses hospitals, schools, and playgrounds as its weapons storage facilities and as the place from which to launch its rockets.
For jihadis, the world is a binary place, one with only Us (the Muslim Ummah) and Them (all those who haven’t subordinated themselves to Islam). The ones in the “Them” category are to be killed (as cruelly as possible), enslaved, or taxed, whichever is most expedient, while the ones in the “Us” category are to dedicate themselves to the great jihad, whether as warriors or human shields. As I said, it’s binary.