IDF forces in the Gaza Strip found a Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare,” which belonged to 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 and reveals that Hamas knows the IDF is committed to minimizing harm to civilians.
Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has continuously used the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals that Hamas’ callous use of the Gazan population was intentional and preplanned.
This Hamas urban warfare manual exposes two truths: (1) The terror group knows full well that the IDF will do what it can to limit civilian casualties. (2) The terror group exploits these efforts by using civilians as human shields against advancing IDF forces.
The IDF report quotes specific portions of the manual that focus on Hamas’s purposeful usage of human shields:
The 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. artillery].
According to the Hamas manual, the presence of civilians poses three distinct problems for the IDF:
(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
Perhaps the most disturbing element within the manual is the “value added” segment which illustrates the perverse psychological warfare Hamas wages on the Palestinian people:
The 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]).
The manual belongs to the Shuja’iya Brigade, named after the town of Shuja’iya, a terrorist stronghold in the Gaza Strip. The IDF concluded that, “the discovery of this manual suggests that the destruction in Shuja’iya was always part of Hamas’ plan.”