Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have misfired more than 550 rockets, resulting in the deaths of civilians in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said.
“They are killing their own civilians from failed launches,” IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Saturday, as translated. Over the past 24 hours alone, about 20% of all rockets aimed at Israel have fallen inside Gaza, he said.
More than 550 rockets have fallen inside Gaza since Oct. 7, when Hamas and Islamic Jihad invaded Israel, killing over 1,400 people and taking over 200 hostages, and began firing rockets, the IDF also said.
On Sunday, Hagari said that the IDF is facing difficulties fighting against terrorists because they are using civilians as human shields and they want civilian casualties to improve their image in the international media.
“They hide behind Gazan civilians and want their own people to die in order to receive sympathy from the world. They want people to see pictures of dead Gazan civilians and of destruction in Gaza,” he said. “Every building that falls in Gaza is a building from which Hamas executes their terrorist activities. They do it knowing we will be forced to strike the buildings.”
For example, Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital was described by The Washington Post as “a de facto headquarters” for Hamas and by Amnesty International as a place for the torture and murder of dissidents. Additionally, Hamas tells civilians to not evacuate military targets even after the IDF tells the civilians to leave the area.
“They want us to strike an apartment in a building adjacent to a hospital only for the world to see it as a similar incident to the failed rocket that hit the Al-Ahli hospital that was presented as an Israeli airstrike,” Hagari also said, referring to how the media ran with baseless Hamas allegations that an Israeli airstrike killed 500 people in a hospital.
The news sparked riots across the Middle East, but multiple international organizations and news outlets have determined that the rocket was a misfire, launched from inside Gaza, and landed in a parking lot.