As the conflict rages on between Israel and Hamas, one of the biggest criticisms of the militant group is their strategy of embedding themselves within the civilian population in Gaza so as to force Israel to incur civilian casualties when they retaliate.
There have been reports that Hamas has launched rockets from crowded apartment buildings, hospitals and schools, though every report comes with another denying Hamas’ responsibility.
Earlier today, however, Indian journalists working for the New Delhi TV broadcasting company got at least one piece of irrefutable evidence: footage of Hamas militants assembling and firing a rocket just a stone’s throw from the hotel they were staying in.
According to NDTV, the rocket was fired just before the start of the 72-hour ceasefire which began this morning.
The team said that yesterday, a small blue tent was erected next to the hotel. Three men made a number of journeys to and from the tent for about an hour before breaking it down and disappearing.
Then, this morning, the team watched the tent be erected once more. The men quickly assembled the rocket launcher and fired the rocket, leaving the area quickly afterwards.
Obviously, one isolated video doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of civilian casualties are on the Palestinian side. As of this morning, over 1,800 Palestinian civilians have lost their lives, with another 10,000+ injured. Israel has lost just three civilians, along with 64 soldiers.
However, we can’t let these numbers keep us from criticizing Hamas when it’s clear that maximizing civilian death is a large part of their PR campaign.
NDTV put it this way:
“Hamas has not taken very kindly to any reporting of its rockets being fired. But just as we reported the devastating consequences of Israel’s offensive on Gaza’s civilians, it is equally important to report on how Hamas places those very civilians at risk by firing rockets deep from the heart of civilian zones.”
We can argue about whose actions are more “justified” (whatever that even means), but we cannot deny that both sides must be held somewhat accountable for the growing loss of life stemming from the renewal of this conflict.
Read the original report from NDTV here.
Make sure to check back later this week for a more in-depth look into the creation and history of Hamas.
EDIT: A talented blogger put together this post in which he identifies where exactly the rocket was launched from, based off of the NDTV footage.