Naftali Bennett
Naftali BennettFlash 90

In a special interview on CNN Wednesday night, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett said that incidents such as the killing of four children on a Gaza beach earlier Wednesday were entirely the fault of Hamas – and were no accident. “I think it is terrible that Hamas is butchering its own children like this,” Bennett told senior CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer. “I would never take my children and place them next to rocket missile launchers,” knowing that it was likely to be targeted by the IDF, he said.

“Hamas is conducting massive self-genocide, taking women and children and placing them next to missile launchers,” said Bennett. The fact that the kids were playing on the beach is irrelevant, said Bennett, because “we find these launchers all over, at the beach, in hospitals and homes. You have the living room and the missile launching room.

“What they are deliberately doing is seeking to kill as many Palestinians as possible in order to yell to the world to ‘Help us,’ “ Bennett said. “This is cynical and this is cowardly. If you want to send terrorists to fight Israel, send terrorists, not women and children.”

“If someone is shooting at you, you will shoot back,” Bennett told Blitzer. “If that coward is hiding behind his children, they might get hit. This whole thing can go away in one moment, if Hamas stops shooting. The moment they disarm themselves, we stop attacking.”

IDF Spokesman, Brigadier General Moti Almoz addressed reports of the four Palestinian Arab children being killed in an IAF airstrike, noting that the accidental deaths were the result of Hamas using civilians as human shields. "Hamas is hiding among civilians targets," Almoz said, on Channel 2. "Hamas continues to make cynical use of civilian casualties and we will continue to operate within a civilian environment." 

The IDF is still conducting an internal investigation on the reports. If true, he said, "the fact that uninvolved civilians were killed is a tragic event. It is important to remember the cynical use of civilians by Hamas in Gaza, which holds them hostage by encouraging them to stay in the line of fire as Israel take out terrorist targets."

Last week, the IDF published video and photographic evidence of the use of human shields by Hamas. In a screenshot of a television broadcast from July 8, civilians gather on the roof of the home of a Hamas terrorist who was targeted by the IDF. They did so in order to act as human shields and deter an imminent IDF attack, explained the military.

In one instance near the start of Operation Protective Edge, seven people were killed after locals responded to an Israeli warning flare by flocking to act as human shields at the site of the intended strike just moments before it was hit.