Hamas turned the civilian areas of Shejaiya into an urban battleground, both above and below ground. Hamas dug tunnels from Shejaiya into Israel. It turned homes into battle positions. It used mosques and other civilian infrastructure for military activities. Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel. Hamas fighters donned civilian dress and women’s dress in their fight.
Under the laws of armed conflict (LOAC), Shejaiya became a legal military target which Israel counter-attacked. Any civilian deaths in Shejaiya are a result of Hamas prosecuting a war from within a built up civilian area. Israel owes no apologies for the results of exercising its right of self defence. If Gazans and Hamas pursue a war while fighting from and embedded in civilian infrastructure, Israel will legally do what it needs to do to stop Gazans and Hamas from attempting to harm Israel and its population.