‘Better to be ruled by Israel than Hamas,’ admit Gaza terrorists

The IDF treats Gazans better, and he would prefer living under Israel rule, because then the people could ‘live life,’ one said.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Palestinians captured by the IDF in the Gaza Strip are angry about the way Hamas used civilians to protect themselves and would prefer Israeli rule as the soldiers have treated them better, according to recordings of interrogations released by the IDF.

“I felt that we are human shields,” said Muhammad Darwish Amara, a terrorist from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization. “Why would we protect them? We also want to be saved.”

The man, who looked to be in his twenties, said that Hamas forces had forced him and others to go with them instead of fleeing safely to the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

“There was a safe passage…the IDF told us to go south and that there would be food and drink…they sketched for us a map,” he explained. While walking, however, “We encountered some guys and those guys put us” in Al-Shifa hospital, where Hamas had a huge network of tunnels and was a major command center which the IDF raided in November.

“We were on the ground floor at Al-Shifa Hospital,” Amara said. “As soon as the terrorists who lived [underground] heard that the [IDF] army had arrived, they went upstairs to us and sat among us.”

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When asked why Hamas did that, he answered, “They were scared.”

Amara claimed he had even once argued with one of the fighters, telling him, “Your place is not here with the civilians above but below [i.e., underground],” and that he would punish the terrorist when the war was over. In response, the man said that he can go anywhere he wants without asking anyone’s permission, Amara noted, and threatened him in return, saying that “as soon as the war is over he will settle his score with me.”

When asked his opinion of the IDF, Amara shrugged, smiled, and said, “I wish you would stay with us, honestly,” because then, “at the very least, we would not die of hunger. We would eat and drink and live life.” They had been afraid when the army had entered the hospital, but it was they who brought the civilians food and water, he said.

A prisoner associated with Hamas, Zohadi Ali Zahadi Shahin,  said that while he “was at a school,” he told his son to go check on their home. He found that Hamas fighters took over his empty home, which “overlook[s] the northern axis” of the Gaza Strip, which was the first part of the coastal enclave that the IDF entered and only subdued after weeks of heavy fighting.

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They were sleeping there and “using it as a firing nest,” he said. His son told him there were more than 20 people in his home, he said. He firmly denied having given them permission to use his home as a military post.

Shahin then told of a neighbor who had seen a Hamas operative plant a bomb right next to his house. When he asked “How do you plant the explosives near the door, and if it explodes, my children and I will ‘go’ [i.e., die]?” the man answered, “if you don’t like it, get out of here, it’s none of your business.” When he protested at the danger this put his family in, the man said, “I’ll even put it between you and your wife.” Then he took out a gun and shot the home’s owner in the leg, Shahin said.

The IDF has found that it is standard operating procedure for Hamas to plant booby-traps at the entrances and within civilian homes, and they have done so thousands of times. This is why the combat engineers’ D9 armored bulldozers are in many cases the first vehicles to go down a street to destroy the traps, thereby bringing down the houses, which had become legitimate military targets due to the bombs.