Hamas has thus far avoided direct clashes with Israel Defense Forces troops, preferring instead to take refuge in densely populated civilian neighborhoods, Palestinians sources said yesterday.
Hamas, they said, prefers to shoot from between houses, leaving local civilians to absorb the IDF's retaliatory strikes. Yesterday, two Palestinian families were killed by IDF fire.
The sources were highly critical of Hamas, saying its promises of fierce resistance to any Israeli ground incursion have proven empty.
According to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, 120 Palestinians have been killed since the ground operation began, the vast majority of them civilians, including 35 children and 18 women. Palestinian sources said the high ratio of civilian to militant casualties stems from Hamas' decision to have its fighters take refuge in civilian quarters rather than meeting the IDF ob the outskirts.
Hamas has used snipers against Israeli troops and laid ambushes for them, but is not sending large forces into open areas where the IDF's numerical edge could prove decisive, the sources added. The IDF, for its part, has thus far declined to enter densely populated neighborhoods. Nevertheless, Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida continued to insist yesterday that the "defeat of the Zionist army is closer than ever."
The sources also said that senior Hamas officials have been spotted more than once wandering around the maternity ward of Gaza City's Shifa Hospital and even using the hospital to hold press conferences, on the theory that it offers a safe haven from Israeli fire. For the same reason, Hamas forces have taken refuge near buildings that serve as headquarters for various international organizations, such as the Red Cross and the United Nations.
Hamas is intentionally teaching their children to kill Jews and Americans. Please watch this brief video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIBNRVgq59Y