Hamas leader denies firing rockets from civilian areas

By Art Moore

An Israel Defense Forces illustration shows Hamas firing rockets from a densely populated civlian area.

In denial of clear video and photographic evidence, a Hamas leader confronted by a British reporter insisted the terrorist group did not fire “a single rocket” from densely populated civilian areas in the Gaza Strip during its 11-day onslaught against the Jewish state.

Sky News Middle East correspondent Mark Stone asked Hamas co-leader Mahmoud al-Zahar: “You are firing rockets and missiles from civilian areas here in Gaza at civilians in Israel. That’s not acceptable, that’s a war crime.”

Al-Zahar replied: “No single rocket was sent from a civilian area. We [fired] most of the rockets from the border.”

But Stone pressed further.

“That’s not true, though, is it? Because we’ve seen video of rockets being fired from within the built-up area of Gaza City at Israeli communities.”

Al-Zahar changed the subject: “This is not against Israeli communities. This is against Israeli occupation. This is against Israeli aggression.”

Even groups that are anti-Israel, such as Human Rights Watch, have acknowledged the video evidence that Hamas routinely fires rockets from civilian areas, using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu long has charged that Hamas commits “double war crimes” by firing from heavily populated civilian centers into Israeli towns.

The Gaza director of the U.N. Palestinian relief organization, UNRWA, which is no friend of Israel, acknowledged the sophistication of the IDF’s precision strikes to minimize civilian casualties:

Al-Zahar claimed Hamas attained “victory” in the 11-day conflict by striking civilian population centers in Israel.

“The new element is the degree of the resistance movement, particularly in Gaza, to attack the Israeli targets at very important points, including most of the overcrowded area in the civilian society. So for how long the Israeli will accept that, I think this is the main issue,” he told Sky News.

The Hamas leader was asked if Israel had a right to exist.

‘No,” he said.

See the Sky News interview:

In 2014, the IDF provided 12 examples of Hamas firing rockets from civilian areas:

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