Hamas has been disseminating to its followers in the Gaza Strip a detailed terrorism training manual that teaches would-be bombers how to make explosives and conceal them in household items such as televisions, according to documents seized by the Israeli military during recent raids.
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers discovered the handbook on the ground in the Gaza Strip as they conducted raids of homes and other facilities used by Hamas to plan its terror activities.
Hamas’ terrorism manuals instruct readers on how to build homemade explosive devices and how to set them to explode in unlikely places.
Hamas has even strapped explosives to donkeys and attempted to send them after Israeli soldiers.
The terror group’s goal is to encourage the citizens of Gaza to plant explosives in unlikely places in the hopes that Israeli military personnel set them off during routine raids in Gaza.
It is just another example of how Hamas utilizes unconventional warfare techniques and civilian cover to carry out attacks on Israelis. Hamas has already been caught using women and children as human shields and firing their rockets from hospitals and United Nations-owned schools.
The detailed manual, excerpts of which were published by the IDF this week, explicitly instructs readers to camouflage their explosives, with one diagram demonstrating "how to fill a television-shaped bomb with shrapnel," according to the IDF.
Soldiers in Gaza have reported seeing the techniques described in the handbook implemented in various homes. In one instance, an Israeli soldier entered a civilian home located next door to a school only to find eight mines connected together by cable and spread throughout the home.
Mines have also been discovered hidden in the shape of a chicken coop in other homes. Other diagrams in the handbook appear to detail methods to embed explosives in wall mounts, such as those used to hang televisions.
As hostilities continue and Israel moves to disarm Hamas and destroy its intricate system of underground tunnels, the IDF is reporting that its Givati Brigade located explosives "that are very similar to those detailed in the manual."
"Such explosives," the IDF said, "have been found in Palestinian homes in Gaza, endangering not only the residents of the house but also neighbors within range of a potential explosion."
Hamas terrorists last week sent a fleet of donkeys strapped with explosives toward a contingent of IDF forces. In other instances, horses have been used.
Hamas leaders also have been releasing social media tips to its followers and others in the Gaza Strip about how to lie about civilian casualties.
The Hamas Interior Ministry—which notoriously ordered civilians to ignore Israel’s warnings and remain home during strikes—is now directing supporters on social media to always refer to the dead as "innocent civilians" and refrain from posting pictures that show Hamas fighters launching rockets from populated civilian centers.
An instructional video published by Hamas’ Information Department of the Ministry of the Interior and National Security teaches viewers how to create sympathy for Hamas in the media, according to a translation of the video published by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
"Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank," the video states, according to MEMRI. "Don't forget to always add ‘innocent civilian' or ‘innocent citizen' in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza."
Social media users also should "begin [your reports of] news of resistance actions with the phrase, ‘In response to the cruel Israeli attack,' and conclude with the phrase, ‘This many people have been martyred since Israel launched its aggression against Gaza,'" according to the video.
"Be sure to always perpetuate the principle of ‘the role of the occupation is attack, and we in Palestine are fulfilling [the role of] the reaction,’" according to the video.
Hamas urges its backers to not tell people that rockets are being fired at Israel from densely populated areas, a technique Hamas uses to maximize civilian casualties.
"Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from [Gaza] city centers. This [would] provide a pretext for attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip," the video states. "Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza."
Palestinian activists who are speaking to Western audiences are encouraged to speak differently than they would to an Arab audience.
Regarding "the narrative of life vs. the narrative of blood: [When speaking] to an Arab friend, start with the number of martyrs. [But when speaking] to a Western friend, start with the number of wounded and dead," the video states. "Be sure to humanize the Palestinian suffering. Try to paint a picture of the suffering of the civilians in Gaza and the West Bank during the occupation's operations and its bombings of cities and villages."
The PR techniques appear to be working. Many U.S. and Western media outlets have worked in recent weeks to interview Hamas officials and accuse Israel of committing war crimes, something that Hamas routinely does.