The terrorists running Hamas – the ones who rejected a ceasefire earlier this week that would have stopped the retaliatory shelling of Gaza by Israel – like to make things up as they go.
All Israelis are legitimate targets for their attacks, they said last week. Conversely, everyone in Gaza is an innocent civilian, even Hamas commanders and terrorists launching rockets at civilians in Israel.
That's the instruction the Hamas interior ministry issued in a video posted on YouTube. According to an IPT translation it urges "Facebook activists" to remember that, "Anyone killed or martyred shall bear the appellation citizen of Gaza, of Palestine, before you speak of his Jihadist position or his military rank" and "Do not forget to always add innocent citizen [written in Arabic and English] to describe those who are killed in the aggression on Gaza after the Israeli attacks."
Early Thursday, Israel thwarted an attempt by 13 heavily armed Hamas gunmen to sneak into the country via a tunnel from Gaza. Israeli President Shimon Peres said their objective was to reach nearby Kibbutz Sufa and kill as many people as they could. The IDF released a video of the terrorists being "neutralized" as they tried to scurry back to their tunnel.
In the Hamas parlance, 13 "innocent civilians" were killed by a "savage Israeli attack." And, since no Israelis were injured, it's yet another example of the disproportionate casualties in the current conflict.
Israeli casualties likely would be far higher if not for successful Iron Dome interceptions of rockets aimed at population centers. And Palestinian casualties likely would be far lower if Hamas did not base rocket launchers and command and control centers in the heart of neighborhoods, or in schools and mosques.
On Thursday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) announced the discovery of 20 rockets hidden inside one of its schools in Gaza. "This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law," the statement said.
In addition, when Israel warns civilians to leave an area before it is attacked, hoping to lessen casualties, Hamas continues to advise people to stay in harm's way. "[Israel] has been sending tens of thousands of voice messages to citizens' phones... asking them to evacuate their homes by a certain time," a post on the Hamas interior ministry's Facebook page said. "There is no reason to be concerned by them or pay attention to them and by no means should they be heeded."
Let's review the Hamas tally: Lie to the world about Palestinian casualties, but don't do anything to help people find shelter and safety. Hide weapons in a UN school and inside mosques. Reject a ceasefire that would have stopped all the Israeli reprisals. And send teams of heavily-armed terrorists in hopes they can slaughter as many innocents as possible.
As we said Tuesday, being truly pro-Palestinian should preclude anyone from being pro-Hamas.