Hamas decries US bill sanctioning 'human shields' practice

Posted at 11:55 AM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 11:55:42-05

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas is condemning a U.S. bill that sanctions the Islamic militant group for using civilians in Gaza as "human shields."

The House unanimously passed the Hamas Human Shields Prevention Act on Wednesday. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum says Thursday that the bill sides with "the Israeli narrative."

The bill steps up U.S. pressure against Hamas, which Washington and much of the West already considers a terrorist organization. As such the bill would not add any additional sanctions on the group.

Echoing Israeli complaints, the bill says Hamas routinely instructs Palestinians not to flee from Israeli airstrikes, forcing them to act as "human shields."

Hamas wrested control of Gaza from Western-backed Palestinian Authority in 2007. Last month, the U.S. designated Hamas' leader Ismail Haniyeh as a "global terrorist."