The Corner

IDF Details Hamas’s Use of Civilian Areas as Missile Bases

The tactically adroit Israel Defense Forces are doing an ever-better job of fighting the information war. Throughout Operation Protective Edge, IDF maps, graphics, videos, and other communications tools have illustrated Hamas’s consistent and routine transformation of civilian areas into launch pads for some 3,000 rockets blasted wildly into Israel. The IDF also has informed the world about its leaflets, phone calls, and text messages that urge Gazans to seek shelter before Israel neutralizes Hamas’s hostile-fire installations.

As the debate roars on about the current war between Israel and Hamas, these IDF materials arm Israel’s friends, challenge its open-minded critics, and embarrass its enemies.

IDF now has created an outstanding document that resembles an unsealed indictment against Hamas — a State Department–designated foreign terrorist organization.

“Hamas War Tactics: Attacks from Civilian Centers,” is an apparent PowerPoint presentation by the IDF’s Military-Strategic Information Section. Its subtitle says it all: “Evidence of Hamas’ Violations of International Law through Use of Civilian Facilities and Densely Populated Areas for Terror.”

These slides detail Hamas’s rocket blasts from mosques, schools, power plants, and even hospitals. Beyond maps, photos, and text, this presentation includes links to declassified footage from IDF drones and aircraft. Multiple IDF videos and broadcast-news stories show how these militant-Islamic murderers literally commit war crimes by firing from civilian areas in Gaza into civilian areas in Israel, all while refusing to wear uniforms.

Has anyone ever waved the Geneva Convention at Hamas? If Israel is held to Geneva standards, why isn’t Hamas?

In just one example of this phenomenon, an IDF map shows how Hamas fired a rocket from inside the El’ Azhar Islamic College on July 8 at 2:44 a.m. The projectile soared over the border and then exploded in an Israeli town called Ofakim.

Imagine your sleep being disturbed by that.

“Hamas’ tactics flagrantly violate international law and the most basic of moral precepts,” the document concludes. “Given these tactics, the ultimate responsibility for the damage done to civilians as well as the civilian infrastructure of Gaza lies with Hamas.”

With this document and others, IDF has shown the world, including the United States, how a military force can use timely operational information and intelligence to sway — and, one hopes, capture — international opinion. Such PR would have served the Pentagon well during the Iraq War and even now in Afghanistan.

Among the very few things that keep this IDF presentation from being a model document is that it is undated. Every document should be dated, always and everywhere, especially if one seeks credibility among journalists and other professional communicators. To the untrained eye, the IDF’s fine work could be confused with something about Hamas’s misdeeds from one, five or even seven years ago, when it took over Gaza and began pummeling Israel with missiles. It would be sad if the mere absence of a date on this PowerPoint led people to disregard it as old news.

Also, it would be wise for Israel to use English as well as metric measurements in all of its English-language materials. The more friends Israel has in America, the better. Sparing Americans the inconvenience of converting kilometers into miles is worth the trouble. Measurements using both systems should appear side by side. Everybody wins!

But these are comparative quibbles.

“Hamas War Tactics: Attacks from Civilian Centers” is a high-quality communications effort in its own right. More important, it is a deeply disturbing guide to the evils of Hamas — the formidable and relentless cancer that annoyingly is affixed to Israel.

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More