from Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aug. 26, 2014
Since the start of Operation Protective Edge 50 days ago, over 4,300 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza – 750 since the violation of the ceasefire on August 19 – killing four civilians and wounding 101.
IDF responds to rocket launching from medical facility
|Rockets launched from civilian sites in Al-Shati refugee camp
Copyright: IDF Spokesperson in Al-Shati refugee camp
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)
On Saturday, August 23, 2014, Gaza terrorists carried out repeated rocket attacks at central Israel during the afternoon hours.
The rockets were fired from launchers concealed adjacent to several civilian facilities in the Al-Shati refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, notably the Shuhada medical facility, a basketball court, Even Sina school and Zlach Halif school. Both schools are currently being used as shelters for Gaza residents who have been evacuated from their homes duringOperation Protective Edge. Hamas cynically abuses these facilities to launch rockets at Israel, knowingly and intentionally putting civilians and humanitarian infrastructures in harms way.
On Sunday, August 24, 2014, the IDF alerted residents in the area and advised them to vacate the premises in order to avoid injuring civilians. Following the evacuation, the IDF targeted the concealed rocket launchers. Hits were confirmed and the rocket arsenal concealed within the facility was destroyed. In the aftermath of the strike extensive secondary explosions were revealed, exposing the extent of the arsenal in this location.
What you can’t see on the UN maps of Gaza
The red dots on the UN’s maps represent more than destruction. They show the many cases in which terrorists attacked Israel from heavily populated areas in Gaza.
|Copyright: IDF Spokesperson|
Last week, the UN published several mapsshowing the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge. The maps mark damaged buildings with red dots scattered throughout Gaza. But these maps tell only half the story: Hamas used many of these buildings – including houses, hospitals and schools – as sites to launch rockets and carry out other attacks.
In many cases, the IDF struck buildings in order to stop Hamas’ violence. This means that the red dots on the UN’s maps represent more than destruction. They show the many cases in whichterrorists attacked Israel from heavily populated areas in Gaza.
Hamas uses mosques, hospitals as cover for terrorist activity
Hamas terrorists arrested and investigated by the Israel Security Agency shed light on Hamas’s use of the civilian population and public buildings to carry out military actions.
|Copyright: IDF Spokesperson|
(Communicated by the Israel Security Agency)
During Operation Protective Edge, various Hamas terrorists have been arrested and investigated by the Israel Security Agency (ISA). Their investigations have mainly served to gather information and warnings, which were passed on to the IDF, about launch sites, infiltration and attack tunnels, arsenals and booby-trapped access routes.
In addition, during the various investigations a disturbing picture was put together regarding Hamas’s use of the civilian population and public buildings to carry out military actions on the assumption that Israel would refrain from attacking them.
In this context, prominent use was made of mosques and hospitals as meeting points and hideouts. Worse still was the digging of tunnels and launch sites, and the placing of arsenals, near kindergartens.
- Mosques as meeting places, training areas, for the concealment of war materiel, and for armed police activity
- Tunnels in proximity to kindergartens and mosques
- Hospitals as hideouts
Hamas knowingly and intentionally operates in and adjacent to civilian areas, including kindergartens, hospitals and mosques in order to carry out military activity.Hamas thus endangers the civilian population even in times of calm given that munitions are liable to go off and put lives at risk. During fighting, Hamas deliberately operates in these locales, thus turning the civilian population into human shields on the assumption that Israel will be blamed for any injury and loss of life.