Gaza residents: IDF troops posing as Hamas men

By Amira Hass, Haaretz Correspondent


The testimonies of Gaza Strip residents are revealing new details about the Israel Defense Forces' mode of operation there. In the past two days, Beit Lahia residents forced from their homes said soldiers were posing as members of Hamas' armed wing while advancing on the ground.

The daily pauses in bombing allow Gazans to meet with the displaced - most of whom are housed in an UNRWA school - and hear their stories.


Gaza resident S. told Haaretz he heard several people say they saw armed men wearing the uniforms and symbols of the Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, who "called out to each other in Arabic, as if they had caught a collaborator, and then, with the element of surprise, went into the houses."

A Gaza radio station warned that troops posing as locals were driving a vehicle normally used by paramedics. Residents said the radio broadcaster listed the vehicle's license plate number and color.

Haaretz has also learned that one of the army's methods for evacuating a home is to fire a missile toward its upper level. That is how B.'s house in Sajaiyeh was destroyed. It was bombed just a few minutes after a missile struck and 40 shell-shocked family members walked out of the house.

The IDF has also forced at least 40,000 people to leave their homes in agricultural and border areas. In Rafah, most of the 20,000 people removed from their homes were lodging with relatives and not in UNRWA facilities.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1054461.html