Videos Show Palestinians Firing Rockets From Gaza Into Israel
It is a common practice for the Hamas to launch their rockets, aimed at Israeli cities, from within built-up areas, in order to make it difficult for Israel to take preventative action against Hamas rocket salvos, without endangering the Palestinian population. These photos and video clips give evidence of this practice.
When launching rockets against Israel, Hamas terrorists usually do not stay nearby, but rather use timers, radio frequency and other ways to remotely control the launchings. In order to protect the rockets from counter-attack until they are launched, they send children to play near the launchers, or place the launchers near playgrounds.
In order to avoid civilian casualties, Israel sends warning messages before attacking terrorist targets advising civilians to leave. Israel prefers to attack empty buildings used to manufacture rockets, even taking into consideration that the terrorists too will be warned and their lives spared.
Hamas, on the other hand, calls on civilians to come and to protect with their bodies the precise locations they expect Israel to attack. Since they know that Israel will usually strike from the air, they send the children to the roofs to prevent the air force from targeting that building.
During the course of the Israeli operation against terrorists in the Gaza Strip (March 2008), Hamas repeatedly called upon Palestinian civilians to gather near buildings where they feared that the IDF was about to launch air-strikes against Hamas targets hidden within. The purpose of the civilian presence was to have them serve as human shields, exploiting the fact that the IDF avoids harming Palestinian civilians, even if it means aborting attacks on crucial terrorist infrastructure targets.
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry