It has become standard practice for the Israelis in all of their conflicts with their enemies to invoke the myth of the ‘human shield’ whereby they accuse their enemies’ fighters of using civilians as ‘human shields’ against attack. The present war against the Gazan people is no different as the IDF’s tweet infers.
However, the ‘human shield’ notion is nothing more than a propaganda ploy designed not just to demonise Israel’s enemies but also to mitigate Israel’s own war crimes against a civilian population.
In the case of the wars against the people of the Gaza Strip, the Israelis, by accusing Gazan fighters of using the civilians as ‘human shields’ ignore the fact that, one, the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on earth and fighters are forced to use urban guerrilla tactics to defend themselves which means civilians are around when fighting occurs, and two, the majority of the fighters are actually billeted in their own homes with their families and many are civilians themselves who volunteer to fight when the Gaza is threatened or invaded.
To imagine that Hamas can evacuate civilians from areas that are under aerial and ground attack is pure nonsense; where should they be evacuated to? Alternatively, to expect Gazan fighters to amass on some battlefield where they can be mown down by the Israelis is plainly delusional.
Dropping leaflets over the Gaza warning civilians not to be in places where fighters are does not exonerate the Israelis from the war crime of killing civilians – especially when they are fully aware of the fact that civilians have nowhere to go to avoid Israeli bombings. Knowing that civilians have nowhere to go yet still going ahead and bombing is a not just a crime of killing civilians, but is a deliberate crime of killing civilians.