Hamas encourages civilians to act as human shields
Hamas tells civilians to return to their homes
and be human shields
PA indoctrination to seek Martyrdom for Allah as an ideal
fosters willingness to act as human shields
[Facebook page of Hamas Ministry of Interior spokesman Iyad Al-Buzum]
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Two days ago, Israel warned Palestinians who live near the Israeli border in the Northern Gaza Strip, an area from which Hamas launches long-range missiles, to evacuate their homes to areas of safety before Israel bombed the launching sites. Hamas' Ministry of Interior immediately called on its civilian population to ignore Israel's warnings and remain in their homes in spite of the danger:
"An important and urgent message:
The [Hamas] Ministry of the Interior and National Security calls on our honorable people in all parts of the [Gaza] Strip to ignore the warnings [to vacate areas near rocket launching sites before Israel bombs them] that are being disseminated by the Israeli occupation through manifestos and phone messages, as these are part of a psychological war meant to sow confusion on the [Palestinian] home front, in light of the [Israeli] enemy's security failure and its confusion and bewilderment."
[Facebook page of Hamas Ministry of Interior spokesman Iyad Al-Buzum, July 12, 2014]
However, many Palestinians did leave their homes, and yesterday Hamas called on them to return, saying that leaving only helps Israel "in carrying out its plans... to destroy [your] property and homes." Hamas' demand that people stay in their homes to prevent Israeli attacks on these missile sites is a demand that they act as human shields:
"Answering the occupation's calls will merely aid it in carrying out its plans to weaken the [Palestinian] home front and to destroy property and homes as soon as you leave them. We call on all our people who have left their homes to return to them immediately."
[Facebook page of Hamas Ministry of Interior spokesman Iyad Al-Buzum, July 13, 2014]
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), July 13, 2014]
Palestinian Media Watch has reported in the past that using civilians as human shields is a strategy of choice for Hamas, which is why it places missiles near homes and mosques. Last week, Hamasspokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Hamas' use of civilians as human shields has proven effective:
Al-Aqsa TV reporter: "Witnesses are talking about a large crowd. The residents are still gathering to reach the Kaware family home in order to prevent the Zionist occupation's fighter planes from striking it."
Al-Aqsa TV host: "People are reverting to a method that was very successful once."
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri: "The people oppose the Israeli fighter planes with their bodies alone... I think this method has proven effective against the occupation. It also reflects the nature of our heroic and brave people, and we, the [Hamas] movement, call on our people to adopt this method in order to protect the Palestinian homes."
The PA and Hamas death-seeking ideology fosters
willingness to die as human shields
PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash: "After prophecy and righteousness, there is no status Allah has exalted more than Shahada (Martyrdom)... Allah forbade us to consider them [the Shahids - Martyrs] as dead or to speak of them as being dead... They went smiling to their deaths... The Shahid has merit with Allah, a merit that no one else has... 'The Shahid - his sins are forgiven with the first gush of his blood from his wound... The Shahid advocates on behalf of 70 members of his family, and saves them all from hell. The Shahid lives [in Paradise] together with the prophets and the righteous ones...'We will never reach the level of the prophets. We won't. So let us reach the level of the Shahid. I say to you, brothers, as the Prophet [Muhammad] said: 'He who honestly seeks Shahada, Allah will give him the status of the Shahids, even if he dies in his bed.'"
In a later sermon, Al-Habbash preached:
It is notable that this death-seeking ideology was delineated by a PA religious leader.
Newsreader: "For most of these children, resistance has become a dream... When you speak to them, you're surprised by the strength and eloquence of their words."
Boy: "We love the resistance. We want to die as Martyrs. Long live the Martyrs."
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas) YouTube channel, May 8, 2014]
Hamas' call to use civilians as human shields is successful only because the PA and Hamas have educated their people to value the ideal of dying for Allah.
In 2008, PMW reported that Hamas openly took pride in comparing their preference for death to the "Zionist enemy's" preference for life:
Then-Hamas member of Palestinian Parliament, Fathi Hammad said:
"For the Palestinian people, death became an industry at which women excel and so do all people on this land: the elderly excel, the Jihad fighters excel, and the children excel. Accordingly [Palestinians] createda human shield of women, children, the elderly and the Jihad fighters against the Zionist bombing machine, as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: We desire Death, as you desire Life."
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), Feb. 29, 2008]
I yearn to die! I come only to it; I seek only it.'
We will never reach the level of the prophets. We won't. So let us reach the level of the Shahids. I say to you, brothers, as the Prophet [Muhammad] said: 'He who honestly seeks Shahada, Allah will give him the status of the Shahids, even if he dies in his bed.'"
[Official PA TV, Nov. 8, 2013]
Pay attention, it is Allah who says: 'They will not harm you except for [some] annoyance' (Quran, Sura 3:111, translation Sahih International) - it is possible that they will harm you. I say to you, it is possible that they will kill us, it is possible that Allah will sentence us to Martyrdom. It is possible that we will be wounded, it is possible that terrorism will be laid on us - 'They will not harm you except for [some] annoyance' - but in the end, 'and if they fight you, they will show you their backs' and the conclusion - 'then they will not be aided' (Quran, Sura, 3:111, translation, Sahih International). We ask for victory more than we ask for life. We ask for the strengthening of our people in this good and blessed land."
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas) YouTube channel, May 8, 2014]