Cynically trying to draw retaliatory fire that they can use for propaganda purposes. And as we can see from mainstream media coverage, it works. "Hamas launching rockets near civilian homes," by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik for Palestinian Media Watch, November 19:
During the last few days, Hamas terrorists have fired more than 100 rockets and missiles per day at Israeli cities. Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense to destroy the terrorists' launching points and the rockets.
Now footage broadcast by Hamas on its Al-Aqsa TV documents what Israel has been reporting - that Hamas is launching its rockets from residential areas near civilian homes, essentially using the civilians as human shields....
Click to see a series of launches by Hamas near homes, broadcast on Hamas TV in the last few days.
In the past, Hamas has expressed pride in its policy of using civilians as human shields, and during the Gaza war (2008-2009) Palestinian eye witnesses explained how they became human shields when Hamas used their property as a launching site for rockets.