Fears Deepen That Hamas Intends To Repeat Use Of Journalists As Human Shields

Activists and officials are calling attention to Hamas trapping journalists in the Gaza Strip, repeating a pattern in the past where the Iranian-backed terror group has used journalists and reporters as human shields and used media facilities for military purposes.

Hamas has trapped at least 22 foreign nationals in the Gaza Strip. Among the foreigners, who are trying to exit the Hamas-controlled territory for Israel, are journalists including Italian citizens, one Canadian, one South Korean, a French national and six journalists from Japan. Israel has kept the Erez crossing into Gaza open in part to facilitate the travel of the foreign press, diplomats, and humanitarian workers.

The move raises the possibility that Hamas is preparing to endanger journalists in order to heighten the risks of any Israeli operations which would seek to degrade Hamas's arsenal or intercept ongoing military operations. The tactic repeats one that the group has used in previous wars with Israel. On January 1, 2009, during Israel's Operation Cast Lead, TV station Al Arabiya inadvertently aired live coverage of reporter Hannan al-Masri being told – while live on the air – that Hamas has just fired rockets from the ground floor of the station's building.

View TIP's YouTube collection documenting Hamas's war crimes, including Hamas's use of human shields.

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