forces in the Gaza Strip found a Hamas manual on "Urban Warfare", of
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. A reading of the manual demonstrates that Hamas' callous use of
the Gazan population was both intentional and preplanned.
In a section entitled "Limiting the Use of Weapons," the manual explains that:
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.
Clearly Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of
weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from
using larger firepower in support of infantry forces.
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:
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])."
is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes and
civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF and
enhance support for their operatives.
It is also of no small importance that this manual belongs to the Shuja’iya Brigade. The IDF fought a major battle in the neighborhood of Shuja’iya, which had been turned into a terrorist stronghold.
The discovery of this manual suggests that the destruction to the civilian population of Shuja’iya was a part of Hamas’ plan.
UN recently published a map that marks areas of Shuja’iya damaged
during IDF strikes. A comparison of the two maps clearly demonstrates
that the areas targeted by the IDF are the same areas that the UN marked
as damaged. The conclusion: the IDF distinguishes between
structures used for terror purposes and structures used only for