By David Gerstman
On Monday, the IDF translated and published the contents of a Hamas bomb-making manual that it captured during Operation Protective Edge.
The IDF blog quotes from the manual:
The explosives manual recommends teaching civilians how to build and store bombs in their homes. According to the manual, the goal is “to transfer combat from open areas to built-up urban areas, which serves the ‘resistance’ [i.e. Hamas] and fighters of Islamic Jihad.” ...
In an especially incriminating section entitled “Factors for Successfully Hiding Weapons in Homes,” the manual explains how civilians can be used to hide explosives:
“(1) The activity of hiding weapons in homes needs to be done with secrecy and should not have a military character.
(2) Placing equipment in residential areas needs to be done with household items.
(3) You must use residents of the area in order place the equipment inside.”
According to the IDF, Hamas has booby-trapped hundreds of houses in Gaza. In a video (embedded below), IDF soldiers can be seen entering a booby-trapped house.
While the goal of the booby traps may be to kill Israeli soldiers, a Hamas combat manual suggested another reason for using the tactic: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]).
Booby-trapping civilians homes is one more documented way that Hamas has used human shields in violation of international law.