Well, Israel-haters and Hamas-boosters, the jig is up: the evidence is in. There is no question now that Hamas fires its rockets from amidst densely-populated civilian areas.
The first concrete, indisputable evidence arrived via France 24:
The sight of Palestinian children playing around Hamas rocket silos is one that will likely horrify me to my dying day.
The sight of a Hamas rocket silo with a UN flag fluttering atop a building less than 100 feet away is one that will remain emblematic of the brazenness of Hamas and the utter failure of the UN to stand up to this cowardice for decades to come.
Not long after a crew from India's NDTV captured, on video, a Hamas crew planting, concealing and then firing rocket from a vacant lot immediately adjacent to hotels and apartment buildings:
In both of these cases, these silos were rigged with remote-fire capability. In other words, the Hamas militants who planted those launchers then high-tailed it to safety, leaving the civilians in the aforementioned hotels and apartment buildings to be blown to pieces by any Israeli counter-strike.
Today, this got me thinking: in particular, about the idea that Hamas uses human shields. While these incidents may seem to confirm that, it's occurred to me that perhaps it isn't true after all.
Consider the very idea of what a human shield is: a human body used to cover an aggressor from fire; from behind which an aggressor may attack, but may not be attacked without harming the person being used as a human shield.
It may seem to fit the situation in Gaza, but here's the thing: when Israel counter-attacks, the militants who launched the initial attack are long gone. Hamas has obviously long accepted that firing a rocket from densely-populated areas is not guaranteed to deter Israel from counter-attack. So now they hide far away and fire these weapons from a safe distance. The civilians in the densely-populated areas are simply hung out to dry while the terrorists themselves are in no real danger. By design these terrorists endanger these civilians, deliberately getting them killed while they themselves are seldom in any real danger.
That is why it has occurred to me: the civilians being killed when Israel destroys a Hamas rocket silo aren't human shields. They're human sacrifices. Quite literally.
This is the peril of an ideology that teaches that "martyrdom" brings with it rewards in the afterlife, so death is actually to be welcomed. Now, Hamas militants are no longer content to seek martyrdom for themselves: they're perfectly content to martyr civilians against their will, and without their consent.
They aren't used to protect rocket silos. They're no longer meant to. Now they're merely sacrificed. And sacrificed because it serves the purposes of Hamas and their de facto allies among the anti-Israel movement. Hamas gets to commit an increasingly (although not yet entirely) futile act of aggression against Israel. The Israel-haters get collateral porn to slather across the internet. Apparently every one wins so long as innocent Palestinians lose their lives.
Well, enough is enough. Hamas must be destroyed to the last man. This grisly and opportunistic practice of human sacrifice cannot be permitted to continue.