Within minutes he brought dozens of civilians to the rooftop
Between 2005-2007, I served as the Southern Corps Operations Officer. As a part of my duties, I participated in planned attacks, mostly of terror arsenals, based on current intelligence. We quickly learned that Hamas, understanding our sensitivity to local civilian casualties, had started to hide its arsenal in the lower floors of residential high-rise buildings.
In return, we developed a method for destroying these arsenals without endangering the civilians. Before attacking such an arsenal, we issued a specific warning to the families living in the building. Only after the building was evacuated did we launch a very targeted attack and destroyed the arsenal without any civilian casualties. This method was used successfully time and again. It is very difficult to imagine that the families living in those buildings were unaware of the massive arsenal that had been set on the lower floors.
I recall one evening we were planning such a response to an attack. The warning about the impending attack had been relayed by a person who we knew had a direct relation to the arsenal. However, instead of evacuating the building so the civilians would not be harmed, we saw him go out of the house and gather people from the street. Within minutes, he brought dozens of civilians to the building’s rooftop. They knew that we were watching them with our drones so they made themselves very visible, all to prevent us from destroying the arsenal.
This was only one example of many during which Hamas uses civilians as human shields. This method was perfected by Hamas. In future conflicts in Gaza, we witnessed how this tactic became more and more predominant. We witnessed Hamas using mosques, hospitals, medical clinics and kindergartens as arsenals and rocket launching grounds. On some occasions, they even used UN facilities.