Just minutes before a cease-fire started Tuesday morning, an Indian NDTV crew caught Hamas red-handed on video assembling and firing a rocket outside their Gaza hotel room.
The video "establishes something that Hamas has always been accused of – that they actually use densely populated civilian areas to fire their rockets," reporter Sreenivasan Jain said. "You see this is a[n]area that, very heavily built up, a lot of residential and hotel buildings all around."
Jain and his crew noticed a blue tent outside their hotel room window Monday morning that was not there the night before. They couldn't see what was going on inside the tent, but, Jain reported, "We saw three men making a multitude of journeys in and out of the tent, sometimes with wires." They also saw the Hamas men try to camouflage the tent with branches.
All of this happened just feet away from their hotel and a high-rise building. The crew moved closer to inspect the site after Hamas fired the rocket, but left quickly in case Israel launched a retaliatory strike.
This was not the first time Hamas used an open lot next to the hotel, Jain said. He reported hearing a rocket being fired on the first night he and his TV crew stayed at the hotel, which he noted was evacuated following an Israeli warning of a possible retaliatory attack on the site.
The story was released "after our team left the Gaza strip," Jain reported. "Hamas has not taken very kindly to any reporting of its rockets being fired. But just as we reported the devastating consequences of Israel's offensive on Gaza's civilians, it is equally important to report on how Hamas places those very civilians at risk by firing rockets deep from the heart of civilian zones."
But if you ask Hamas defenders including Reza Aslan, the rocket likely was a figment of the TV crew's imagination. Aslan cavalierly dismissed evidence that Hamas previously fired rockets during a debate on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday.
Fellow panelist Andrew Ross Sorkin challenged Aslan for blaming Israel for the deaths of "1,600 people, 85 percent of them civilians" and for killing hundreds of children. Sorkin noted that they had been killed because Hamas fired its rockets "in front of them."
"That is nonsense," Aslan said. "First of all, first of all, Amnesty International, which is on the ground right there, did a month-long review of this. They have found no evidence whatsoever of any kind of human shield being used."
NDTV's footage provides further incontrovertible proof that Hamas has no regard for the lives of those it governs. It also places apologists such as Aslan in the position of having to admit the reality that Hamas is the thuggish terrorist group the U.S., Israel and E.U. have always said it is.