Al Jazeera World

Gaza: Human Shields

We hear from Palestinians who were allegedly used as human shields by the Israeli army during the 2014 Gaza war.

For 50 days, more than 6,000 air strikes, 14,500 tanks shells and 45,000 artillery shells were fired on Gaza as Israel decimated the Palestinian enclave in Operation Protective Edge.

In the summer of 2014, more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children were killed, as Israel attempted to end rocket attacks and destroy tunnels used by Hamas and other Palestinian groups.


by ”Khalil

army, me, the kids, my mother and siblings. If the army had been targeted, we’d have all been killed.”]

As shells, bombs and rockets laid waste to Gaza, both sides were engaged in a propaganda battle while the civilian death toll continued to rise.

The Israeli government repeatedly claimed that Palestinian groups were to blame, accusing them of using women and children as human shields as they fired rockets into Israel.

In Gaza: Human Shields we speak to civilians, academics and human rights advocates who have accused the Israeli military of employing the tactic as they battled Hamas and explore whether Hamas used residential buildings and civilian areas to launch attacks.


“They [the Israeli army] took me and put me on top of a tank,” says Anas al-Najjar, a resident of the battered southern town of Khuzaa.

Ramy Abdu of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor says there are “enough files to condemn Israel and prove it‘s committed war crimes by using civilians as human shields.”

Showing both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives on the use of human shields, this film follows on from a UN inquiry, published in June 2015, into the alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the July-August 2014 Gaza war.