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Published on 31 August 2015

I Saw Hamas' Cruel and Selfish Game in Gaza

Polish reporter Wojciech Cegielski spent a month in Gaza during last summer's war. He has no doubt Hamas used people as human shields.

By Wojciech Cegielski, published in Haaretz August 25, 2015
I spent a month in Gaza duringOperation Protective Edge. It was one of the worst and deadliest months I have seen in my life. The reality there was much more complicated than was seen from a safe distance in Europe or the United States.
Yes, Israel bombed Palestinian houses in Gaza. But Hamas is also to blame for its cruel and selfish game against its own people. I do not have hard evidence, but for me, spending a month in the middle of this hell, it was obvious that they were breaking international rules of war and worst of all, were not afraid to use their own citizens as living shields.
The first incident happened late in the evening. I was in the bathroom when I’ve heard a loud rocket noise and my Spanish colleague, a journalist who was renting a flat with me near the Gaza beach, started to scream. He wanted to light a cigarette and came to one of the open windows. The moment he was using his lighter, he saw a fireball in front of his eyes and lost his hearing.
From what our neighbors told us later, a man drove up in a pickup to our tiny street. He placed a rocket launcher outside and fired. But the rocket failed to go upwards and flew along the street at ground level for a long time before destroying a building. It was a miracle that nobody was hurt or killed.
When we calmed down, we started to analyze the situation. It became obvious that the man or his supervisor wanted the Israel Defense Forces to destroy civilian houses, which our tiny street was full of. Whoever it was, Hamas, Iz al-Din al-Qassam or others, they knew that the IDF can strike back at the same place from which the rocket was fired... Read more.

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