October 15, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Acts to Prevent Northern Gazans from Fleeing South

October 15, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Acts to Prevent Northern Gazans from Fleeing South

Latest Developments

Since October 13, Israel has repeatedly called — in Hebrew, English, and Arabic — on the civilian population northern Gaza to move south of the Gaza River for their safety. According to reports, mosques in Gaza broadcast messages for civilians to stay put. While Washington and Cairo are considering the establishment of a humanitarian corridor from the south of Gaza into Egypt, Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh asserted on October 14 that the people of Gaza would remain in place. Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) published intelligence and imagery on October 14 asserting that Hamas has established a roadblock on Gaza’s major artery, preventing civilians from reaching shelter in southern Gaza.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas is dedicated to killing Israeli civilians through terror and missile attacks. The Iran-backed terror group is also willing to kill fellow Palestinians by forcing them to use their bodies to shield Hamas weapons and fighters and preventing them from moving into safer areas in Gaza. These are triple war crimes. The use of human shields is a direct violation of a U.S. law passed unanimously by Congress and has been condemned even by the UN General Assembly.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Hamas has been lying to the international community for years with inflated casualty numbers and libelous accusations against the IDF, while cynically targeting innocent Israeli civilians and using the Palestinian people as human shields. The world has consistently turned a blind eye to the lies and war crimes of Hamas. There can be no denying it anymore: Hamas is a terrorist organization consisting of war criminals and should be treated as such.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

IDF Urges Caution in Light of Hamas Disinformation

Hamas has accused Israel of attacking Gazans as they flee to southern Gaza. The IDF has denied this accusation and urged caution when receiving reports form Hamas agencies in Gaza, which are all under full control of the Hamas terror regime. Hamas leadership has repeatedly denied killing Israeli civilians in the attack of October 7, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — including extensive video of the atrocities, taken by the terrorists and shared widely on social media during and after the massacres.

Hamas’ Record of War Crimes

Terrorist groups use human shields to cause Western militaries, such as Israel’s, to either refrain from lawful attacks or risk being blamed for civilian casualties that are in fact the fault of the terrorist group. This time, Hamas is using not only Gazan civilians as human shields but also the more than 150 people it has kidnapped from Israel. Hamas has a long history of using human shields as a tactic of war, storing weapons, hiding terrorists, and launching rockets amid densely populated civilian areas, including schools, mosques, and hospitals.

“Hold Hamas Accountable for Human-Shields Use During the May 2021 Gaza War,” by Orde Kittrie

“How Congress can fight Hamas’s use of human shields,” by Orde Kittrie and Matthew Zweig

“IDF Strikes Terrorists as Rocket Sirens Continue to Wail Across Israel,” FDD Flash Brief


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