Gaza: Human Shields | Al Jazeera World

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For 50 days, more than 6,000 air strikes, 14,500 tanks shells and 45,000 artillery shells were fired on Gaza as Israel decimated the Palestinian enclave in Operation protective edge.

More than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children were killed, as Israel attempted to end rocket attacks and destroy tunnels used by Hamas and other Palestinian groups.

As shells, bombs and rockets laid waste to Gaza, both sides were engaged in a propaganda battle as the civilian death toll continued to rise.

The Israeli government repeatedly claimed that Palestinian groups were to blame, accusing them of using women and children as human shields as they fired rockets into Israel.

In Gaza: Human Shields, we speak to civilians, academics and human rights advocates who have accused the Israeli military of employing the tactic as they battled Hamas.

We hear testimony from Palestinians being forcing them to walk in front of Israeli soldiers at gunpoint and enter potentially hostile buildings.

We examine evidence alleging Israel’s long-standing practice of human shields and explore whether Hamas used residential buildings and civilian areas to launch attacks.

“They [the Israeli army] took me and put me on top of a tank”, Anas Najjar, a resident of the battered southern town of Khuazaa says; while Ramy Abdu of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor says there is “enough files to condemn Israel and prove it’s committed war crimes by using civilians as human shields.”

Showing both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives on the use of human shields, Gaza: Human Shields follows on from a recently-published UN enquiry into war crimes during the July-August 2014 war.

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