Appendix C - Fighters
were indistinguishable from Civilians and buildings were booby trapped in Gaza.
Extracts from an article in the Times of London, January 12, 2009
Gaza's tunnels, traps and martyrs: the Hamas strategy
to defeat Israel. The underground
army says it is better prepared than many expected
By Azmi Keshawi in Gaza City, Martin Fletcher and Sheera Frenkel
The bearded young Hamas fighter stood beneath a shop’s awning in the centre of Gaza City as he tried
to hide from Israeli drones. “Gaza will be like a volcano
erupting beneath the Israelis. It will destroy the legend of their invincible army,” he boasted as the street echoed
to the sound of distant gunfire and explosions.
He spoke of a huge network of tunnels designed to enable Hamas fighters to attack and
retreat, to ambush and kidnap, to blow up Israeli vehicles passing overhead and move undetected by aerial surveillance. He
talked of mines which have been laid but are not primed until the Israelis approach. He described how plans had been prepared
to defend each part of the city, and how they were immediately changed when a fighter was captured. If a fighter was killed,
another was trained to take his place.
He said the Hamas fighters constantly changed their locations and
tactics. They never attacked from the same place twice. They had secret means of communication, and spread disinformation
to confuse the Israelis when speaking on their radios. They wore civilian clothes, concealed their weapons, and no longer
walked around in groups.
Morale was high, Mohammed insisted. Hamas had lost fewer fighters than expected and there
was an infinite supply of eager replacements for those “martyred”. It still had plenty of rockets that could be
launched remotely from hidden bunkers. “We can continue as long as it takes,” he said. “I tell you, even
our ghosts will defeat the Israelis.”
Ron Ben-Yishai, a senior military correspondent with the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot,
who travelled with Israeli troops last week, said he was “amazed” by Hamas’s preparations. Whole blocks,
not just individual houses, had been booby-trapped and wired. “We have seen things like this before, but not of this
A detailed, hand-drawn Hamas map of a neighbourhood called Al-Atatra, discovered by Israeli
paratroopers last week on the body of a Hamas fighter, showed tunnels, sniper positions next to a mosque and numerous explosive
devices planted in roads, homes and a petrol station. The neighbourhood had been divided into three, with a team of fighters
allocated to each.
Mr Ben-Yishai told The Times that his unit found a mannequin filled with explosives in
a hallway in the Zaytun area of Gaza City.
It was dressed in a Hamas fighter’s black uniform. Had Israeli soldiers fired on it, it would have exploded and brought
down the building. In the hallway of another house, a 30-gallon container of diesel fuel had been placed on two sacks of explosives,
with a detonation wire running through a tunnel to a shack 200 metres
away. Instead of entering houses through doorways, Israeli soldiers now blow holes in the walls and send sniffer dogs in first.
Suicide bombers are another hazard. On Saturday a man wearing an explosives belt sprang
from a side alley in Jabaliya as an Israeli patrol walked past. They shot him seconds before he could detonate himself. Early
in the ground war a suicide bomber ran up to a lone Israeli bomb dismantler and literally hugged him as he blew them both
up. There have been several such attacks in the past week, two by women.
Reshef, an Israeli soldier wounded during an engagement in the Jabaliya refugee camp,
told The Times: “Hamas was playing cat and mouse, trying to lure us into the tunnels they had prepared. They were firing
from the tunnels, trying to get us to engage them and follow them in. Once inside the tunnels there were dozens more waiting
Another Hamas tactic, said Mr Ben-Yishai, was to spring from tunnels concealed beneath
floors, or behind sinks in houses where Israeli troops were sheltering, and open fire.
Appendix D - Human shields
While the Report goes into great detail about allegations that Israeli
forces coerced Palestinian civilians to take part in house searches the fact-finding mission was evidently very selective
in the facts it chose to emphasize and those it chose to ignore. For example, it downplayed and in some cases ignored readily
available evidence of the use by Palestinians of their own civilians as human shields, such as the many reports that have
been published over the years documenting the common practice of using human shields by the Palestinians. http://www.geocities.com/palestiniansarelies/HumanShields.html and the Christian Science Monitor report http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1120/p01s02-wome.html
In paragraph 475, the Report concedes that the Mission is aware of a public statement in a video clip, by Mr. Fathi
Hammad, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, that had been brought to its notice and "which is adduced
as evidence of Hamas' use of human shields." (Why adduced?). Although Mr. Hammad's precise words can be heard and
read in translation in the video, the Mission's document states, "Mr. Hammad reportedly [the emphasis is mine] stated
that .. [Hamas] created a human shield of women, children, the elderly and the mujahideen against the Zionist bombing machine.
In the face of this blatant admission that Hamas uses human shields and without calling for any clarification
from Mr. Hammad, the Mission acts as his defending counsel. In the next paragraph the Report states, "Although the Mission
finds this statement morally repugnant, it does not consider it to constitute evidence that Hamas forced Palestinian civilians
to shield military objectives against attack". No reason is given for this remarkable conclusion that contradicts the
witnesses own words other than "The Government of Israel has not identified any such cases".
Paragraph 481 goes
further to conceal Palestinian use of human shields. It states: ". . . While Reports reviewed by the Mission credibly indicate
that members of Palestinian armed groups were not always dressed in a way that distinguished them from civilians, the Mission
found no evidence that Palestinian combatants mingled with the civilian population with the intention of shielding themselves
Appendix E - Allegation that children with white flags were
Paragraph 9 of the Report deals at great length with the unfortunate shooting of Amal, Su’ad,
and Samar, daughters of Abed Rabbo. At the outset it must be clarified that in this very
tragic incident which was widely reported as three children killed, Amal and Su'ad died while Samar is still in hospital in
Belgium, possibly crippled for life.
The Report accepts, without any attempt at corroboration, testimony that the girls walked out
of their house to find an Israeli tank there, creating the impression that there was no reason for paying attention to this
house. It ignores the relevant fact that Abd Rabbo family candidly had told a Palestinian West Bank newspaper that for several
years their family was a hostage to Hamas, who used their farm as an ideal site for firing Qassam rockets at Sderot. They
said that whoever tried to resist were crippled by a shot in the leg. He disclosed that the fighters had dug tunnels under
their houses, stored weapons and shot rockets from the grove. Abed Rabbo emphasizes, they are not activists, they are still
loyal to the Fatah movement, but they were unable to prevent armed groups from infiltrating their neighborhood at nightfall.
See ( http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A//www.alhayat-j.com/details.php%3Fopt%3D2%26id%3D81261%26cid%3D1402&hl=en&langpair=auto|en&tbb=1&ie=windows-1256
The Report goes on to describe two soldiers sitting on top of the tank, one eating
chips, the other eating chocolate. One cannot but wonder how the witnesses in the tense circumstances were able to distinguish
what the soldiers were eating. Without warning, the Report says, a third soldier emerged from inside the tank and started
shooting at the three girls. All very incriminating, creating an emotional picture of callous Israeli soldiers eating chips
and chocolate while a third mows down innocent children carrying white flags. It is not inconsequential that none of these
types of emotional descriptions are used when infractions of Hamas are mentioned.
But the writers of the Report failed in their bounden
fact-finding duty to check the accuracy of information they purveyed. With just a little attention to detail they
would have read the Report by Palestinian News Agency Ma'an and MECA – the Middle East Children's Alliance – that the unfortunate girls were killed in collateral damage from an attack
by Israeli planes. No tank, no soldiers eating chocolate (or chips), and no white flags are mentioned. We cannot be certain,
which version is accurate, but you will surely agree that in the interests of truth, all
versions must be investigated. http://www.mecaforpeace.org/article.php?id=400
The Report repeatedly declares that civilians were intentionally killed by the IDF, inferring
that the Mission members, with no battle experience, possess intellectual powers that enable
them to determine whether, in the heat of battle, a soldier has acted in self defense or with criminal intent. And as the Mission places importance on intent, it is remiss in ignoring the openly declared intent of the rocket
launchers to kill as many civilians as possible, the openly declared intent of the Hamas Charter to destroy Israel, and Hamas'
declaration that it is not bound by international rules.
Appendix F - Use of mosques for military purposes and weapons
Extract from a paper by Col. (res.) Jonathan D. Halevi, Institute for Contemporary Affairs
Vol. 9, No. 10, 18 September 2009, Blocking the Truth of the Gaza War: How the Goldstone Commission Understated the Hamas
Threat to Palestinian Civilians
Statements from the al-Silawi Family
Three members of the al-Silawi family were interviewed by the commission: Moussa al-Silawi
(91, blind), Sabah al-Silawi (Moussa's wife), and Mouteeh al-Silawi, a Hamas official. The
most detailed statement was that of Mouteeh al-Silawi, deputy director of the Hamas administration's Muslim Religious Endowments
ministry for the northern Gaza Strip, who said he was giving a sermon when the mosque was attacked. He claimed that there
was no military activity in the Ibrahim al-Maqadma mosque or around it during the attack. Worshippers came to the mosque seeking
a safe haven on the assumption that it was a secure place. The evening and night prayers were said one after another to prevent
unnecessary movement of worshippers outside the mosque. Israel
committed a war crime in violation of international law by attacking civilians in a mosque.
The commission members asked:
What is the name of the mosque and where is it located?
What was the date of the event?
Was a warning given before the attack?
When was the mosque built?
Were the people killed the supporters of families?
Was there a noise before the explosion and what damage
did it do?
How many people were killed and wounded in the attack?
How many people were in the mosque when it was attacked?
How far is the mosque from the nearest hospital?
Does the hospital have a sufficient quantity
of medical equipment and are its services sufficient?
They also asked:
Under what conditions are the two prayers (evening
and night) joined?
Do more people come when prayers are joined?
Was this the first time the prayers were joined?
When does the evening prayer begin and when does it
When prayers are joined, exactly how much time elapses
When, during the confrontation, did the mosque begin
joining the prayers?
Was January 3 the first day the prayers were
Many of the questions were irrelevant and unconnected to the circumstances of the event.
The commission members did not ask about armed men in the mosque, whether it was used for
military purposes or incited worshippers to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel.
They did not ask if there were weapons in the mosque, if armed men were operating near the mosque, whether Hamas and its Izz
al-Din al-Qassam Brigades controlled the mosque and used it to recruit operatives, or the identity of the casualties and their
organizational affiliation (including members of the al-Silawi family).
An examination of freely accessible Palestinian sources
shows that the casualties in this incident were terrorist operatives and included members of the al-Silawi family, who were
represented to the commission as innocent civilians. The terrorists killed in the attack included:
Ibrahim Moussa Issa al-Silawi, an operative in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas'
military-terrorist wing. Born December 1, 1946, in
Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. According to the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website, Ibrahim "received his love of
jihad and hatred for the Zionist enemy with his mother's milk." In 1984 he joined the Islamic Movement (which later became
Hamas) and was a Muslim Brotherhood operative. He had close relations with Nizar Riyyan, a senior Hamas terrorist operative,
and joined the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades in 2003. He was posted to the northern Gaza
Strip brigade and participated in military missions: manning front-line positions in Jabaliya, fighting IDF forces, and digging
and preparing tunnels for Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades use.
Omar Abd al-Hafez Moussa al-Silawi (Abu Souheib), an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative.
Born in Saudi Arabia on September 29,
1981, and joined Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2004 he joined the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and was posted to front-line
positions on the eastern border of Jabaliya. He also prepared and planted IEDs, participated in fighting the IDF, and launched
mortar shells and Kassam rockets at Israeli towns and villages.
Sayid Salah Sayid Batah, an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative. Born on April 7, 1986, in Jabaliya. A Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood operative, he joined
the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and was deployed in the northern Gaza Strip Brigade. He was posted to front-line positions
in Jabaliya, prepared and planted IEDs, and dug and prepared tunnels for Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades use.
Ahmed Hamad Hassan Abu Ita, an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative. Born in Saudi Arabia on February 15, 1984. A Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood operative, he
joined the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades in 2006 and was posted to front-line positions. He fought the IDF in the Jabaliya,
al-Salatin and al-Atatra regions, prepared and planted IEDs, was deployed in the suicide bombers' unit, and regularly participated
in ambushes against IDF soldiers. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website reported that he was one of the operatives who
received instructions, after the initial Israeli air attack on December 27, to deploy in accordance with previous instructions.
According to the website report, on January 3 he went to the Ibrahim al-Maqadma mosque to meet "young people" and was killed
in the IDF attack there.
[Note: The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades version clearly
shows that Hamas uses mosques as meeting places for its operatives to coordinate their fighting against the IDF.]
His father said that during the first week of the fighting his son launched rockets into Israeli territory every day.
Muhamad Ibrahim al-Tanani (Abu Islam), an operative in the Al-Quds Battalions, the military-terrorist
wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, born April 23, 1988. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad website reported that his parents
brought him up to love jihad. When the Second Intifada broke out he was 12, and often went to the Erez crossing with other
children to throw rocks at the IDF post and confront the soldiers. In 2002 he joined the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and later
its military-terrorist wing. He underwent military training and was posted to front-line positions on the northern border
of the Gaza Strip. In addition to his military activities, he participated in Palestinian Islamic Jihad meetings and events,
and led the organization's Internet forums.
Rajah Nahad Rajah Ziyyada, 18, an Al-Quds Battalions operative.
Ahmed Assad Diyab Tabil, 16, a
Hamas operative, was a member of the Hamas student organization, which recruited him into the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
Appendix G – Abuse of hospitals for military purposes
Paragraph 485 of the report states that on the basis of the investigations it has conducted,
the Mission did not find any evidence to support allegations that hospital facilities were used by the Gaza authorities or
by Palestinian armed groups to shield military activities and that ambulances were used to transport combatants or for other
This is plainly unacceptable in view of the information supplied to the Mission in memoranda from the public and available on the internet as well as articles in
the mainstream media including the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency as detailed on the next page.
For example on July 17, I submitted a video memorandum in which several Palestinians, who had
fled to Israel from Hamas violence, described how they were attacked while in hospital and how ambulances were used to convey
fighters in preference to needy patients. They are readily identifiable in the video and could be located if evidence is sought
from them. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLFAJK5LtwY
A NY Times article described how armed Hamas militants in civilian clothes roamed the halls
of the Shifa hospital and executed alleged collaborators in the hospital's compound.
The most significant is that the Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry in Ramallah (http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=208410&MARK=hospital) confirmed in February what was known to Israeli intelligence from the start of the operation. It accused Hamas of using hospitals and clinics in Gaza
as interrogation and detention centers and expelling medical stuff: "Hospitals … that were taken over include Al-Quds Hospital in Tal Al-Hawa, a Red Crescent initiative,
parts of the Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the upper and lower floors of the An-Nasser Hospital,
as well as the Psychiatric Hospital". Of course, hiding in the hospitals and turning them into detention centers is a violation
of IHL, and the mere presence of healthy fighters makes it potentially legal military objective.
Text of the Ma'an report
PA Health Ministry: Hamas using hospitals as detention centers
Published Saturday 07/02/2009 13:06
Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry accused the Hamas-run de facto
government's security services of turning medical centers into virtual prisonso n Saturday.
According to a statement
from the Health Ministry, Hamas has used hospitals and clinics in Gaza as interrogation and detention centers, where medical
staffers have been expelled.
"After Israel ended its aggression in the Gaza Strip, the Health Ministry was surprised
that Hamas militants returned to their old behavior, expelling medical staff and using medical centers as detention centers,
and for torture and interrogation," the statement said.
Hospitals affiliated with the PA that were taken over include
Hospital in Tal Al-Hawa, a Red Crescent initiative, parts of the Ash-Shifa
Hospital in Gaza City, the
upper and lower floors of the An-Nasser
Hospital, as well as the Psychiatric Hospital, according to the statement.