Not only is Hamas using human shields in their fight against Israel, but they are threatening and intimidating reporters who photograph them doing so:
TIMES OF ISRAEL – Several Western journalists currently working in Gaza have been harassed and threatened by Hamas for documenting cases of the terrorist group’s involvement of civilians in warfare against Israel, Israeli officials said, expressing outrage that some in the international media apparently allow themselves to be intimidated and do not report on such incidents.
The Times of Israel confirmed several incidents in which journalists were questioned and threatened. These included cases involving photographers who had taken pictures of Hamas operatives in compromising circumstances — gunmen preparing to shoot rockets from within civilian structures, and/or fighting in civilian clothing — and who were then approached by Hamas men, bullied and had their equipment taken away. Another case involving a French reporter was initially reported by the journalist involved, but the account was subsequently removed from the Internet.
Hamas has indisputably used violence against reporters who have covered stories it doesn’t like, the official said. And it has emphatically limited reporters’ access to aspects of Hamas operations that would reflect to its detriment. One example of this relates to Gaza’s Shifa hospital, the official added. “We know that downstairs there is a Hamas command and control center and that Hamas leaders are hiding there. No reporter is allowed to go anywhere downstairs. They’re only allowed to work upstairs to take pictures of casualties, the pictures that Hamas wants them to take.”
Shifa has indeed “become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices,” the Washington Post reported on July 15. The Wall Street Journal‘s Middle East correspondent, Nick Casey, wrote on Twitter that Hamas uses Shifa “as a safe place to see media,” but removed the post afterwards.
Last week, a correspondent for the local Ouest France daily newspaper told Libération, another French daily, about how he was interrogated and intimidated by Hamas officials in what appeared to be their office in Shifa.
“A few meters from the emergency room, where the injured from the bombings kept on coming in, in the outpatient ward, [the reporter] was received in ‘a small section of the hospital used as an office’ by a group of young combatants,’” the article read. “Surprisingly, they were all well-dressed, ‘in civilian clothing, with a gun under the shirt, and some had walkie-talkies.’” He was ordered to empty his pockets, to remove his shoes and belt, then was taken to a hospital room that appeared to serve the men as their command office, the reporter recalled.