Israeli army uses Gaza children as human shields

Since the assault on Gaza began, Israeli leaders and their supporters have repeatedly accused Hamas of using Palestinian civilians as human shields in an attempt to absolve Israel of responsibility for deliberately killing more than 1,600 Palestinian civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip. 

Despite there being no evidence to prove this libelous claim, it has been unquestioningly echoed in major media outlets and invoked by US officials to blame Palestinians for their own slaughter. It has even been used to justify genocide against Palestinians in a newspaper ad created by anti-Palestinian extremists Shmuley Boteach and Elie Wiesel. 

But the available evidence demonstrates that it is the Israeli army, not Hamas, that has been using Palestinians as human shields in Gaza.

In video testimony released by the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights, which you can watch at the top of this post, Ramadan Muhammad Qdeih recounts how Israeli forces stormed his home in Khuzaa, where some sixty members of his extended family were sheltering in the basement on 25 July, and forced them to act as human shields.

First, the Israeli soldiers shot dead his 65-year-old father Muhammad Qdeih near the entrance of the home as he tried to alert the soldiers to the presence of women and children while carrying a white flag.

Next, says Qdeih, the soldiers forcibly positioned members of his family, including the children, at the windows of his home and proceeded to fire from behind them. 

“They ordered us to take off our clothes and tied our hands up,” says Qdeih. “They took us to one of the rooms and used us as shields, making us stand at the windows as if we were looking outside. I was at one window and three children from my family at another. The soldiers then began firing around us.”

For eight hours, Qdeih’s relatives were denied food and water as they were shuffled from one room to another with their hands restrained behind their backs and forced to stand in front of open windows as Israeli soldiers fired from behind their bodies.

Hiding behind children

Qdeih’s family members weren’t the only Palestinian civilians Israeli soldiers hid behind in Gaza. According to Euro-Mid, for five days Israeli forces used a Palestinian teen as their own personal human shield: 

In another incident, on 23 July, 17-year-old Ahmad Jamal Abu Reeda says he was restrained by Israeli troops who threatened to kill him. After harshly interrogating and beating him, the troops ordered Abu Reeda to walk ahead of them at gunpoint, accompanied by police dogs, as they searched houses and other buildings. Several times, they demanded that he dig in places they suspected tunnels to exist. Abu Reeda was forced to remain with the Israeli forces for five days.

This procedure is not new. During Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s three-week bombardment of the Gaza Strip in the winter of 2008-2009, Israeli soldiers used an eleven-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield, forcing him to walk in front of them at gunpoint and enter potentially booby-trapped buildings to check for explosives.

And these are not isolated cases. Israel has a well-documented history of systematically using Palestinian civilians as human shields, particularly children. 

Ethnic cleansing

From summary executions to deliberately murdering fleeing civilians carrying white flags and using civilians as human shields, there is no shortage of atrocities committed by the Israeli army in Khuzaa, which was completely flattened by non-stop Israeli shelling in what has been described as a massacre

After visiting Khuzaa and speaking with survivors, Jaber Wishah, the deputy director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, told Gaza-based journalist Mohammed Omer that he believes Israel’s intention was to ethnically cleanse Khuzaa in an effort to split the Gaza Strip in two, north and south, to make it easier to control. 

As more information about Israeli criminality in Gaza comes to light, it has become increasingly clear that Israel is spreading lies about Palestinians.

Israel is the one using Palestinian children as human shields. Israelis are the ones celebrating death in Gaza. Israeli officials are the ones declaring a “holy war.” And Israeli leaders are the ones calling for genocide.




Whenever Israel-Firsters use the argument that Palestinian freedom fighters hide behind civilians and use them as human shields, it boggles belief that readers do not challenge this by simply asking "why are Israeli soldiers hiding behind Israeli civilians?"
One must ask "why are Israeli soldiers using public transportation including buses and taxis to ride in and out of their military bases which are embedded deep inside of Israel’s major population centres?
Why is Israel locating its munitions and armaments factories, and munitions production centres inside of its major cities deep inside civilian areas where they know civilians will be at risk?
One also has to concurrently ask, "if Israel is so concerned about its citizens but especially children, why is it economically subsidizing its squatters (forget calling them settlers), in endangering these children by taking them into a war zone (which Israhelllllll keeps on calling the occupied Palestinian territories)?
...ahhhhhh kinda odd that Israel does not even sees a risk to the children whose parents it not only enables but, in fact, wilfully and methodically aids by providing economic subsidies so as to assist them in endangering their own children by helping them to relocate these children into so-called dangers zones, and then uses these children as human shields!!!
Israel should be ashamed that it allows its illegal squatters in the West Bank to use their own children as human shields and actively pays for this with financial incentives for these parents to put their children in harm's way - that is sick!
It is sad that Israel is a state accomplice to this child abuse and that Israeli parents have so little love for their own children so much that they wilfully put them in harms way as the uncaring settler/squatter parents of the three Israeli teens who were murdered did so knowingly notwithstanding all the attendant risks of moving into what Israel calls "war zones"!


Do President Obama and Members of the US Congress read this? Why not? Do they wish to proceed in willful ignorance to the IDF's abuses of human rights in the OTs? Or do they know and simply not care?


The US administration know exactly what is happening and they actively support Israeli war crimes and genocide. It is up to all of us to change that. Support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.


If Hamas treated Palestinian kids the way the IDF treats them, I doubt Hamas would so popular in the Gaza Strip.
Besides, the IDF has proven time and again (think of the playing kids on the beach), that it does not care whether or not it kills kids, and it possibly even targets them specifically. So what would be the logic behind Hamas using kids as shields?
It makes no sense.


1/ Anyone who has been following the Middle East knows that Israel has been using children as human shields for years, forcing them to walk into houses in front of them, etc.
2/ If Hamas has been doing this, then where are the pictures? Plenty of Israelis have cameras on their helmets (Go-Pro), and considering the number of stories they have run on this "practice" by Hamas you would expect dozens of pictures of this by now.
3/ Speaking of pictures: Does anyone know what "weapon" the man in the Wiesel/Boteach ad is carrying? It looks like a fake RPG launcher (but possibly a homemade one). However this may be: How do you use a kid as a "human shield" with such a weapon (which typically fires at hundreds of meters - presumably the spot from which someone would fire back - and if they fired back from that distance it would be with something that would blow both you and your human shield away, so what would be the point of the shield)?

It doesn't make much sense and it's not convincing. It sounds like they're grasping at straws, and also trying to maximize the effect of those inflammatory (and incoherent) paid ads in the US newspapers (and today in the UK The Guardian).

I was rather interested to read that the The Times (UK) has REFUSED to publish the ad. Not sure what to make of that.


And boycott the Guardian for choosing to publish the vile advertisement.


'Israel’s been established in Palestine by assistance of the British Government in 1948 to keep the Middle East in constant conflict after the region was divided into small states ruled by authoritarian families. As well as to get rid of the crimes of Jews in Europe. What do you expect from a country like the United States of America before Israel the United States of America was established in the same theory "killing Original people and took their countries .."


I must just raise the following!its a known terrorist tactic hiding behind and attacking civillans as shields and as targets!go and look at all available security codes and practises!did the above civilians stop hamas from using their top storey dwelling as an attack point on isreal?will they stop hamas from using their house to shoot down on isreali soldiers?no they won't do that!hamas has got no military zone as to where they launch attacks on isreal,or where they engage the isreal army or airforces!no they do it from the comfort of civillians diningrooms,balconys ect!if those civillians allow that,to be done to me!I will use them as shields to save my ass!war is not a nice business,and its always an mud slinging afterwards!facts is what determine the truth in the end!and unfortunately the innocent always suffers at the hands of the victorious!look how the boers were murdered by die english and how they are being murdered as we speak now!if hamas used milaary positions to attack isreal,those positions will be an point of attack,but they are a terrorist group with no limit to their brutal attacks,using civillians ,in hiding and attacking,and in their consant defiance of ceasefire agreements!I do in all ernest protest against the killing and suffering of woman,children and the eldery!and are sure that the whole free world will do as well!but what about the butchering of christian kids in irac?syria?by muslims?is that acceptable?is it in order to murder kids all ages by muslims?that muslims can attack and murder woman,kids,but when muslims are being killed when they allow them and their homes to attack other countrys,armys and civillians then its wrong???

Rania Khalek

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Rania Khalek is an independent journalist reporting on the underclass and marginalized.