Testimony from previous rounds of fighting in Gaza has indicated that Hamas conducts military activity from within hospitals, mosques, churches and schools, or from areas adjacent to them. This, in order to prevent Hamas' leaders, operatives and weapons from being targeted by Israel, and sometimes also in order to deliberately provoke Israel into attacking these sites.
The following are statements about this from officials, journalists and intellectuals in the Arab world that have been published by MEMRI over the years.
UAE Federal Council Member Dirar Belhoul Al-Falasi: Hamas Fired Rockets From A Hospital So Israel Would Bomb It
Dirar Belhoul Al-Falasi, a member of the UAE's Federal National Council, said in an October 13, 2020 interview on Kwait's Diwan Al-Mulla Online TV: "People from the Red Crescent told us that they built a hospital [in Gaza]... This hospital was for treating Palestinians. People from Hamas fired a rocket from the hospital's roof, so that Israel would bomb this hospital. Just see how low they can go..."
To view a video of Khalil's statements, click below:
Egyptian-American Writer Magdi Khalil: Hamas Fired Rockets From A Church Where Civilians Were Sheltering; Hamas Leaders Hid In A Hospital
Speaking on an Al-Jazeera TV show amid the 2014 round of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, American-Egyptian writer Magdi Khalil criticized Hamas' claim to have the moral high ground, saying:
"Is it moral to launch missiles from hospitals, from schools, from bedrooms, from mosques, and from the roof of a church, where thousands of Gazans had found refuge? The church's priest was interviewed on CBN and said: "From the roof of this church, Hamas members are launching missiles at Israel. We welcomed them in our church, but they began launching missiles at Israel from the roof." Is this the moral high ground that my colleague is talking about?!
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"Is it moral for Hamas leaders to hide in Al-Shifa Hospital, thus risking the lives of regular people? Is this the moral high ground? They are fleeing like rats, hiding behind patients in Gaza hospitals. Is it moral for Hamas leaders to hide behind these patients?
"They garner sympathy over the corpses of children. This is part of the strategy of the Islamists. They consider sympathy garnered over the corpses of children to be a victory…
"The whole world knows that Hamas does not care about the spirit of humanity. They do not care about the children, about their people, about the losses, about the destruction of their country, or about the number of casualties."
To view a video of Khalil's statements, click below:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Hamas Leaders Fled to the Sinai in Ambulances during the Israeli Campaign in Gaza
In a speech he delivered at the Arab American University in Jenin in October 13, 2009, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas noted that, during the round of fighting between Israel and Gaza in December 2008/January 2009, Hamas leaders had used ambulances to flee Gaza, leaving the populace to do without these emergency vehicles. He said: "When the [Israeli] aggression took place, [Hamas leaders] in Gaza and abroad said: 'We don’t care if Gaza is erased.' They do not care if Gaza is erased. All they care about is that the Hamas movement continue to exist. They said this. Haniya and Mash’al said: We don’t care what happens. Mash’al went even further and said: 'What is happening in Gaza is insignificant and does not affect us.' Then they said that the Hamas movement is alive and well. This was at a time when there were thousands of martyrs from among our people, thousands of wounded from among our people, and tens of thousands of destroyed houses. To this day, 100,000 Palestinians in Gaza are homeless, with no place to live. Yet the Hamas movement is alive and well.
"The Hamas movement was hiding under the domes [of mosques]. The Hamas leaders – and I say this for the first time – fled to the Sinai in ambulances, leaving their people behind to be slaughtered. Then they say: We put up resistance."
To view a video of Abbas' statements, click below:
Researcher Amjad Taha: Hamas Fired Missiles From The Roofs Of Schools And Hospitals
Researcher Amjad Taha, a regional director at the British Middle East Center for Studies and Research (BMCSR), said in a November 2018 interview on Russia Today that Hamas was launching missiles at Israel from the roofs of schools and hospitals on orders from Qatar and in coordination with Iran, provoking Israel to respond: "What is happening in Gaza now is that Hamas, at the order of Qatar – from which it has just received funds – and in coordination with Iran, is firing missiles from the roofs of schools and hospitals, and then the other side is retaliating against them. They are blood merchants who follow the orders of Iran."
To view a video of Taha's statements, click below:
Kurdish-Iraqi Writer: "If The Palestinians Want To Avoid Being Harmed By Israeli Fire, They Should Prevent Hamas From Using Their Homes, Mosques And Schools To Launch Its Terrorist Rockets At Israel"
In his December 4, 2015 column on the liberal website Elaph.com, Kurdish-Iraqi writer Mehdi Majid 'Abdallah stated that Palestinians were harmed by Israeli fire because Hamas was using mosques and schools as launch pads for its rockets. He wrote: "The Palestinian women and children who are killed in the Israeli army's defensive war against Hamas are not killed deliberately. They are collateral damage, for any war has innocent victims… Were it not for the reckless actions of Hamas, which constantly fires rockets into extensive parts of Israel [where] peaceful [people live], there would have been no innocent victims, because Israel's actions are directed against the terrorists…
If the Palestinians want to avoid being harmed by Israeli fire, they should prevent Hamas from using their homes, mosques and schools [as bases from which] to launch its terrorist rockets at Israel."
 MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6030 - Kurdish-Iraqi Writer: The Palestinians Should Extend A Friendly Hand To Israel – April 22, 2015