Durbin Statement On Use Of Human Shields By Hamas in Gaza

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding reports that Hamas routinely launches rockets from dense civilian areas in Gaza and instructs Palestinian residents to ignore Israeli warnings to leave areas facing likely military action:


“I am deeply troubled by Hamas’ continued rocket fire against Israeli civilians and its refusal to accept an Egyptian cease fire proposal. I am further shocked by Hamas’ barbaric use of its own civilians as human shields to protect its violent actions. Recently, after Israel warned residents of several neighborhoods in northern Gaza to leave the area due to likely impending military action, Hamas urged them to stay.  In doing so, Hamas deliberately—and criminally—put civilian lives at risk for its own propaganda needs. Similarly, Hamas continues to launch rockets from narrow openings between crowded civilian homes, with the perpetrators then fleeing via tunnels and leaving the vulnerable civilians exposed to counterstrikes aimed at halting the rocket attacks. 


Quite simply, Hamas, having failed to deliver a functioning state that builds on the talents and aspirations of the Palestinian people, has perpetuated this violent confrontation with Israel while recklessly endangering the lives of its own people to advance its narrow propaganda objectives.”

Senator Durbin reiterated his longstanding hope that a peace agreement that assures Israeli security and a viable Palestinian state become a reality.