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'Hamas responsible.' Shalev
Photo: Reuters
UN envoy: Hamas uses Gazans as human shields
In letter of complaint to Ban Ki-Moon, Security Council Gabriela Shalev says Islamist group operating out of mosques, schools and private homes; adds Hamas war room discovered under largest hospital in Strip

WASHINGTON - Israel's UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev filed a complaint Tuesday night with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council over the cynical use of Palestinian civilians by Hamas.

 

During Israel's Gaza operation, Hamas has operated out of mosques, schools and private homes while using civilians as human shields, she said.

 

According to Shalev, a Hamas war room was discovered beneath the largest hospital in Gaza, and terrorists are frequently opening fire from inside private residences while holding the tenants hostage.

 

The ambassador said that Hamas was booby-trapping homes with complete disregard for the safety of their occupants, and assured the UN chief that Israel was taking all necessary measures to prevent civilian casualties.

 

Shalev said in her complaint that Hamas was solely responsible for the consequences of the IDF's offensive as it continues to fire rockets toward Israel's southern region.

 

On Monday UN chief Ban, who is due to arrive in the Middle East this week, demanded that Israel and Hamas immediately stop the fighting in the Gaza Strip, saying "too many people have died."

 

In his first press conference of the year, Ban said: "The fighting must stop ... To both sides, I say: just stop now. Too many people have died.

 

"My goal is to step up the pace of our joint diplomatic efforts and ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches those in need," he told reporters.

 

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