Hillary: Hamas Uses Human Shields Because ‘Gaza is Pretty Small’

Hillary Clinton buys into the claim that Hamas macabre human shield tactic is simply due to Gaza's size. IDF blamed for deaths in UN school.

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AFP, Gil Ronen,

Rocket barrage from Gaza
Rocket barrage from Gaza

In an interview with Fusion TV, Hillary Clinton argued Hamas plants its rockets among civilians partly because there is not enough room in Gaza to put them elsewhere.

Clinton explained that the current round of fighting in Gaza began because Hamas, "which has its back against the wall" and "intended to provoke Israel," began firing rockets into Israel, "Israel said 'we have to stop the rockets,' and then they discovered all these tunnels." Israel was exercising its right to self defense, she said. She also tried to explain why there were many civilian casualties among Gazans, but wound up making a curious claim when she described Hamas's human shield tactic.

"I'm no a military planner," she said, "but... Hamas puts its rockets, its missiles, in civilian areas – part of it is that Gaza's pretty small, and it's very densely populated. They put their command and control, of Hamas military leaders, in those civilian areas. Israel, I know has sent warnings and tried to get people to move, but in any kind of conflict there are going to be civilian casualties, and we need to try to get to a ceasefire as soon as possible."

Shelling of a UN school being used as a shelter in the northern Gaza Strip killed 16 people on Wednesday, a UN official said. The official blamed Israel for the shelling.

In a similar case a few days ago, Israel denied that it had targeted a UN school after being blamed for deaths that took place there. "We reject the claims that were made by various officials immediately following the incident, that people were killed in the school premises as a result of (Israeli army) operational activity," spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said after that incident.

The IDF said Wednesday after the latest incident that the report was being looked into, and that it could neither confirm or deny it. 

The IDF has provided video evidence that Hamas fires rockets from inside schools.

Wednesday's shelling hit the school in Jabalia refugee camp, Hamas terrorist emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, on the 23rd day of Israel's military campaign against the Palestinian coastal territory, which is controlled by a genocidal terrorist government.

An AFP correspondent said that at least one shell had hit the school – the outer wall of the complex was damaged by shellfire – and in a bombed-out classroom people were picking body parts off a blood-soaked floor.

An official for the UN's Palestinian refugee agency, who requested anonymity, confirmed the strike, saying it hit a bathroom and two classrooms inside the UNRWA girls' school.

The army had begun heavy tank shelling in the area a couple of hours prior to the incident, an AFP correspondent said.

Hamas uses UNRWA schools as storage sites for its rockets. For the third time in recent days, such a stockpile was discovered in a UN school Tuesday.

After the first finding of rockets at an UNRWA school, it was reported that rather than destroying the rockets, UNRWA workers called Hamas to come remove them.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon "expresses his outrage and regret at the placing of weapons in a UN-administered school," a United Nations statement said last week. "By doing so, those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children, UN employees working in such facilities and anyone using the UN schools as shelter," the statement added.

The shelling brought Wednesday morning's death toll to at least 32, in a conflict that has killed more than 1,260 people in 23 days, according to Qudra's figures.

On the Israeli side, terrorist fire, including cross-border rocket fire, has killed 53 Israeli soldiers in addition to three civilians inside Israel.

Hamas fired several salvos of rockets at large population centers in Israel Tuesday evening.

The first, at 8:20 p.m., was aimed at Beit Shemesh, the Etzion Bloc, and the Jerusalem mountains. One of the rockets was intercepted over Jerusalem.

Nine rockets were fired about an hour later at Be'er Sheva and other parts of the Negev. Four of these were intercepted.

A third salvo was fired at 10:11 p.m. Toward the central coastal plain. Sirens went off in Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, Kiryat Ono, Holon, Bat Yam and Rishon Letzion. Another salvo was fired at Ashdod and Ashkelon. There were no reports of casualties.