Hamas’ Human Shield Tactics

In its fight to defend its’ citizens of Israel from Hamas’ terrorist attacks, the IDF is confronted with moral challenges of unparalleled complexity. The main element of Hamas’ strategy is the exploitation of the Palestinian civilian population as human shields for its operations and infrastructure.

The tactics employed by Hamas include:

  • the deliberate launching of rockets from densely populated areas.
  • the deliberate use of civilian homes to hide and/or protect Hamas arms and munition depots and manufacturing sites.
  • the unscrupulous use of civilians as human shields against anticipated air-strikes.


The IDF takes extensive measures in order to avoid civilian casualties such as sending warning messages before attacking terrorist targets. These messages urge civilians to leave the area, and even might spare the lives of terrorists. In these instances, Hamas calls on civilians to defend the site of an anticipated air-strike with their lives, well aware that the IDF avoids harming Palestinian civilians, even if it means aborting attacks on crucial Hamas infrastructure targets.

When Hamas terrorists fires rockets at Israeli cities they usually do this from densely populated areas using timers or remotely controlled launchers, leaving the terrorists themselves at a safe distance. To protect the launch sites from preemptive strikes by the Israeli Air Force, Hamas sends children to play near the launchers or sets them up near schools, playgrounds, hospitals or mosques.

Kids in Hamas Festival in Gaza, Kids, Children, Hamas, Gaza, Human Shield, terror, terrorists

Kids in Hamas Festival in Gaza

This cynical use of women and children as human shields is a widely spread practice and in April of 2008 Hamas MP Fathi Hamad, who now is Hamas’ Interior Minister, proudly stated:

“For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: ‘We desire death like you desire life.'”