Global intelligence has, in recent disclosures, unmasked Hamas’ dark practices of embedding terror infrastructure within civilian populations. The revelation of the infrastructure installed within the civilian residences portrays awareness by the Palestine terror group that Israel would likely launch retaliatory attacks.
Jake Tapper revisits the ongoing Gaza conflict that broke following Hamas launching an unprecedented attack that claimed over 1400 Israelis, with several hundred taken hostage. Tapper wonders what Hamas thought of the likely Israeli military response.
Hamas Reinvents Human Shields Strategy in Embedding Terror Infrastructure in Civilian Areas
Tapper doubts whether Hamas did not anticipate retaliation from Israel. He wonders whether Hamas overlooked that the Israeli military response would adversely affect innocent Palestinians in Gaza.
Tapper questions whether Hamas foresaw retaliation from the Israel Defense Force (IDF), particularly since various bits of intelligence and journalists visiting Gaza confirm Hamas embeds within the Palestinians. As such, Tapper weighs on Hamas’s thoughts on the possible outcome.
Tapper’s inquiry portrays skepticism of Hamas’ unpreparedness, particularly given that global intelligence confirms the terror group embeds terror infrastructure within civilian populations across Gaza and the West Bank. His inquiry portrays intentions to utilize human shields in the event of a retaliatory action by the IDF.
Hamas is an Islamist terror group operating in the Gaza Strip. Besides Israel, the United States and the European Union (EU) label Hamas a terrorist group. Hamas affirmed the label in the October 7 attack on innocent children and adults.
A revisit to Hamas past would help ascertain if the militant terrorist group anticipated Israel’s retaliation and the inevitable suffering of innocent Palestinians. Hamas history reveals the continual use of human shields during past conflicts with Israel since 2007. From the definition, human shields are considered by the International Criminal Court (ICC) statute as a war crime of using proximity to civilians and other protected persons, areas, and points immune from military operations.
Hamas embeds the terror infrastructure in proximity to the civilians, aware that an attack on such zones and areas would harm innocent people. As such, Tapper’s inquiry on Hamas’ anticipation of IDF retaliation was duly considered by the terrorists to embed the terror infrastructure near civilians.
Hamas Anticipated Human Shields Would Minimize Collateral Damage
Hamas banks on the Israeli government’s desire to minimize collateral damage. This perspective aligns with Hamas’ awareness that the West portrays heightened sensitivity to civilian casualties. Consequently, it is unsurprising for Hamas to continually use human shields to minimize their vulnerabilities to attacks by limiting the IDF’s freedom of action.
The discovery of Hamas embedding terror infrastructure within the civilian populations illustrates Hamas’ readiness for IDF retaliatory attacks and anticipation of innocent suffering in the course. Besides limiting the military action against them, Hamas targets winning diplomatic and opinion-related leverage, manifesting Israel as the aggressor.
Installing the terror infrastructure within the civilian population involves a strategic realignment. In particular, Hamas would fire rockets, mortars, and artillery from and in proximity to the heavily populated West Bank and Gaza areas. With retaliation likely, Hamas is aware that attacks on such protected areas violate the Geneva Convention, similar to hospitals, mosques, and learning institutions. Such would portray Israel as the aggressor violating the armed conflict conventions for indiscriminately striking civilians.
The move to locate terror-related infrastructures, including access routes, defensive positions, and bases within the civilian areas, would attract IDF action. Also, combatting the Israeli forces from the residential and in proximity to the residential areas plays into the Hamas card.
By engaging in such acts, Hamas deploys a win-win scenario to limit IDF action targeting its base. The use of kinetic power by the IDF would leave civilian casualties surging, as witnessed since Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu declared the retaliatory attacks.
Hamas Aimed Limiting IDF Action While Guaranteeing Fighting Continuity
Installing the terror infrastructure within the densely populated areas in Gaza aligns with Hamas’ anticipating Israel’s response. With more attacks by Israel, the destruction of the civilian regions is inevitable alongside the surging death toll that today exceeds 10000, where at least children lost their lives. Such is becoming the weapon Hamas is leveraging to alleged war crimes by Israel.
The above discussion illustrates that Hamas embeds terror infrastructure in densely populated areas to limit the IDF’s capability to leverage military power in Gaza. Such would avoid the collateral damage, thus leaving Hamas less vulnerable to Israeli attacks.
The discovery of the terror infrastructure located in proximity to civilians seeks to protect the assets from IDF airstrikes while allowing the terror group to continue fighting. Consequently, Hamas thought of Israel’s retaliation as inevitable when resorting to the human shield practice it regards as successful.