Israel is again being forced to choose between protecting its own civilians and the lives of its soldiers and the risk of harming Gaza civilians who are being used by Hamas terrorists as human shields.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is hoping to raise international awareness of the issues involved through/via the release Monday of a series of photographs, video clips and information on its website showing how terrorists use civilians as human shields during attacks on Israel.
"The purpose of the civilian presence is to have them serve as human shields, exploiting the fact that the IDF avoids harming Palestinian [Arab] civilians," explains the Ministry on its website.
Photographs show the terrorists launching rockets from densely populated areas, using residential buildings to hide and protect arms and explosives factories and using women and children as shields to prevent IAF pilots from proceeding with counterterrorism air strikes.
On a number of occasions, the IDF even notified the residents of an impending strike, warning them to leave the area in order to avoid being hurt during the attack.
Instead, Hamas media recruited children to form a human shield on the roofs of terrorists' homes and apartment buildings to protect the structures from the anticipated Israeli air strike – which was carried out in response to rocket attacks on Jewish civilians in southern Israel.
"When launching rockets against Israel," the Foreign Ministry points out, "Hamas terrorists usually do not stay nearby, but rather use timers, radio frequency and other ways to remotely control the launchings."
Photo: IDF Spokesman
In order to protect the rockets from counter-attack until they are launched, they send children to play near the launchers or place the launchers near playgrounds and schools.
Click here to see a clip that shows a mortar attack that was launched from the UNRWA boys' school in Gaza on October 31, 2007.
The website includes a wealth of information about what life is like for Israeli civilians living in the shadow of Gaza, a region teeming with Hamas and other murderous terrorists.
A slew of GRAD missile attacks on the coastal city of Ashkelon a little over a week ago awakened the government to the fact that Hamas had graduated from homemade short-range Kassam rockets to using Iranian-made longer-range GRAD and Katyushas.
Click here to see a video clip of one of the attacks that provides a window through which the average person can see – from the safety of their computer – the grim reality in which Israel's civilians are living in the south.
Another video clip found on the site reveals the reality of life in Sderot on an average day. A young child was badly wounded in the recent Kassam rocket attack seen in the video. Doctors won their fight for his life – but lost the battle to save his left leg. Click here to watch.
More than 7,600 Kassam rockets have been fired at Sderot and other western Negev communities in the Gaza Belt since the Oslo War broke out in 2000. More than 800 missiles have been fired at southern Israel just since the beginning of this year.
The viewer can have an intimate look at terrorists in northern Gaza as they launch another attack on Israel by clicking here.
Jewish Agency Launches Positive Image PR Campaign
The Jewish Agency for Israel has launched a public relations campaign to counter Palestinian Authority images of suffering Arab women and children.
Hundreds of Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization offices around the world will receive kits with information about Israeli anti-terrorism activities.
The packets will also include color photos of last Thursday's massacre of seven teens and a young adult rabbinic student at Merkaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva in Jerusalem by a previously undetected local Arab-Israeli terrorist.