So that they can use as a propaganda tool any retaliation by Israel — but of course, they knew the Israelis wouldn’t retaliate under such circumstances. By Julie Stahl for CNSNews.com, with thanks to all who sent this in:
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) – At least a dozen Palestinian gunmen eluded Israeli capture in the Gaza Strip on Friday, first by taking refuge in a mosque and then by calling on women and children to shield them so they could escape.
Palestinians reported at least one women killed and a second was in critical condition after they were shot during the fray. The Israeli Army said its soldiers had fired only at armed gunmen, who were firing at them from within the crowd.
The standoff began on Thursday evening when some three dozen Palestinian gunmen — fleeing Israeli forces — took refuge in a mosque in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. Gunmen and Israeli troops exchanged fire during the night and part of the mosque’s roof collapsed.
On Friday morning, Hamas radio put out a call for women and children to come to the mosque – to form a human shield around the gunmen so they could escape. The Israeli Army said Hamas knows that Israeli troops would not shoot at women and children.
About 3,000 protestors, most of them women, turned out to protect the gunmen — and the ploy worked. When soldiers searched the mosque later, it was empty, the army said.