Hamas does not systematically deploy children and youth against Israel due to shortage of manpower. It is a deliberate strategy designed to demonize and demoralize the Jewish state.
By: Daniel Krygier
One thing that Islamists discovered early on is that images of wounded or killed Arab children easily turn Western opinion against Israel. Human life is worthless to Hamas and other Islamist terrorist organizations and it is therefore unsurprising that they cynically use their own human sacrifices as a propaganda strategy to demonize the Jewish state as a “child murderer” in order to utilize the old blood libels.
The Israeli Defense Forces have noted that children featured prominently at Hamas’s recent weekly “right of return” Gaza border aggressions. A seven-year-old Gazan girl was used as a human shield and sent by Hamas to breach the border with Israel. Thankfully, Israeli soldiers spotted the Arab girl on time and she was taken out of harm’s way. Another child, 15-year-old Gazan Mohammed Ibrahim Ayub, was recently killed when Molotov cocktails were hurled at Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border.
The abuse of children in warfare did not start with Hamas. Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) played an instrumental role in the rise of Nazi Germany. The purpose of the Nazi youth movement was to indoctrinate and train future soldiers in the service of Adolf Hitler. The Muslim Brotherhood’s youth organizations were inspired by the Nazi youth paramilitary organizations. However, unlike today’s Islamists, yesterday’s Nazis perceived their indoctrinated youth as a future investment, not something to utilize immediately as human sacrifice. One exception took place at the end of the Second World War, when – due to shortage of manpower – Hitler Youth units formed a defense line during the battle of Berlin. During the last months of the war, Hitler Youth members as young as 12 years old were recruited as soldiers.
During the Iran-Iraq war, Iran’s Islamist regime sent thousands of children to clear minefields in a war that claimed the lives of around one million people. Numerous conflicts throughout the third world have included the use of child soldiers.
A Double War Crime
Unlike Hitler in 1945, Hamas does not systematically deploy children and youth against Israel due to shortage of manpower. It is a deliberate strategy designed to demonize and demoralize the Jewish state. The leadership of Hamas is fully aware of the fact that the Israeli army follows a strict code of conduct to avoid harming civilians. By targeting Israeli civilians from behind the human shields of Arab civilians, especially children, Hamas is committing a double war crime, while putting Israel in an impossible situation.
During the latest Gaza war in 2014, Hamas leaders hid in fortified bunkers under Gaza’s main Al-Shifa hospital, fully knowing that IDF would refrain from deliberately targeting hospitals and schools, although they were used for terrorism. War is messy business and all armies, including the IDF, make mistakes. However, after the Gaza war in 2014, generals from a dozen different countries, including Britain, France India and Germany, conducted an international comparative study, which concluded that no army in the history of warfare has done more to minimize enemy civilian casualties than the Israeli Defense Forces.
The international community demonizes Israel for defending herself, and is therefore responsible for encouraging Hamas to continue pursuing its cynical human sacrifices of innocent children.