The Israel Defense Forces has hit back at criticism over airstrikes it carried out on civilian media buildings in the Gaza Strip during its recent Operation Pillar of Defense.
A post on the IDF’s blog details how Palestinian militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad held meetings and ran military operations in buildings housing members of the international media in the hope that Israeli forces would not strike them there because of the risk of civilian casualties.
But the Israeli air force often did strike, taking out militants’ leading figures and destroying their communications equipment. The blog points to tweets from foreign journalists which appear to confirm that Palestinian militants did try to use human shields by launching rockets from densely-populated areas near to media centres.
The IDF also gives details on how militants often tried to disguise themselves as journalists by painting the word “TV” on their cars, so that when the cars are hit by Israeli airstrikes, the Israeli military would be accused of targeting innocent members of the media.
Some militants disguised as journalists, the blog posts says, even carry cameras in their cars to make the deception more convincing.