Hillary Takes Flak for Comment Seeming to Defend Hamas

Image: Hillary Takes Flak for Comment Seeming to Defend Hamas (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 07:12 PM

By Greg Richter

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is coming under fire after saying that Hamas hides its rockets in civilian areas because of Gaza's small size.

"The problem is, and this is something, I'm not a military planner, but Hamas puts its missiles, its rockets in civilian areas, part of it is that Gaza's pretty small and it's very densely populated. They put their command-and-control of Hamas military leaders in those civilian areas," Clinton said in an interview Monday with Univision's "America with Jorge Ramos."

Clinton also said she thinks "Hamas intended to provoke Israel" with rocket fire, but added that Hamas may have acted because it "has its back against the wall."

Gaza, near the southern tip of Israel and bordering Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, covers only 139 square miles with a population of 1.8 million people. That gives it a population density of 13,000 people per square mile.

Israel says Hamas is launching rocket attacks from civilian areas, including schools and mosques, so that Israeli retaliation will cause civilian deaths, including those of children. The media images of dead children are used for propaganda, Israel says.

Clinton also noted that Israel has sent warnings before it bombs civilian areas, but acknowledged there would be civilian casualties in any conflict. That's why a ceasefire is needed as soon as possible, she said.

Conservatives jumped on Clinton's comments.

"Hamas purposefully uses human beings as shields. Period," Town Hall's Katie Pavlich wrote.

"It sounded to me like even though she knows they use these PR tactics of putting missiles in schools, she was trying to justify it," said Andrea Tantaros, co-host of Fox News Channel's discussion show "The Five."

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