Hamas - an internationally recognized terrorist organization -
deliberately embeds its military operations deep in residential areas,
and exploits its own civilian population as human shields
. These actions are war crimes.
of Hamas' commanders use their own homes for military purposes -
including weapons storage, command and control centers and military
communications. In videos uploaded to the IDF's YouTube channel
secondary explosions can be seen following IDF attacks on some of these
houses - clearly indicating their military use. Under international
law, when the exploitation of these residential houses makes an
effective contribution to Hamas' military actions, these buildings
clearly become legitimate military targets.
When attacking these
lawful targets, the IDF makes every effort to ensure such attacks are
proportionate and to minimize any unavoidable civilian harm. The IDF has
no desire to harm civilians, and is acting solely to weaken Hamas
terrorist infrastructure and safeguard our civilians.
conducts its operations in full accordance with international law. IDF
commanders are trained in international law and legal advisors are
embedded at the highest level of the chain of command. The IDF employs a
range of tools - including distributing flyers, personalized phone
calls and SMS - to warn people in the vicinity of an impending attack.
of raising doubts regarding Israel's commitment to the rule of law, the
international community should be questioning why Hamas deliberately
embeds its military operations in residential homes and civilian areas. A
terrorist organization that uses its civilian population as human
shields, and deliberately fires at the Israeli civilian population, is
conducting war crimes - and should be denounced for doing so.