"There have been attempts to stop all of this, but the fact of the matter is, is that the Israelis have indicated they are not interested in brokering a cease fire," said human rights attorney Diana Buttu, former legal adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Israel says Hamas has launched rockets every month for the past year, saying that since it pulled out of Gaza in 2005, about 8,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel.
"There have been ceasefires that have been brokered in the past, and each ceasefire that's been broken has been broken by Israel, it hasn't been broken by Hamas," Buttu said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
The rockets fired by Hamas are "very primitive" compared to the "F-16s and F-18s the Israelis are using against the Palestinians," she added.
"This is not an equal war, this is a one-side atrocity. And this is why I think it's very important for us to be putting civilians in the center of this, and try to make sure civilians are protected," said Buttu. "(We need to) have an international protection force that is brought in to ensure that civilians are not being targeted, and not being hurt."
Israeli government officials say they are trying to avoid civilian casualties. But there are reports of the spokesman for Hamas urging people to serve as human shields for the homes of Hamas leaders targeted by Israel Defense Forces, and the Hamas-run Palestinian Interior Ministry urging residents of Gaza to stay in their homes even if the IDF warns them to leave.
Butto has not seen the video, but says such calls would be "reprehensible, I think that the bigger picture is that this isn't the case. What we have seen over the course of the past couple of days, more than 80 Palestinians killed, the population of the Gaza strip – 43% of it is under the age of 14, and we've seen that half of the people who have been killed are women and children."
"The idea that Palestinians use their children as human shields is racist and reprehensible," said Buttu.
"I do not believe ... that people are going to listen to somebody who says stay inside while you're house is bombed," she said.
"This constant refrain of a culture of martyrdom is very offensive, Palestinians just want to live their lives as normal human beings," said Buttu.
however, here is the part of the CNN story (thanks to Omri Ceren):
I'm not sure if you've seen this yet, but there was a bit of a dust-up yesterday between Jake Tapper and Diana Buttu, the former legal adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization.
There's tape of the exchange on The Lead's blog - http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/10/former-palestinian-adviser-mideast-tension/ . The very short version is that Tapper said CNN had tape of Hamas's spokesman instructing Gaza residents to act as human shields (the Israelis go out of their way to tell civilians to get out of the way of buildings that the IAF is about to hit; Hamas leaders have responded by urging Palestinians to either stay in, or to rush into, those buildings).
Buttu's response was to accuse Tapper of conveying "racist and reprehensible" smears:
BUTTU: Jake, I haven’t seen that video but if that were the case that would be reprehensible. I think that the bigger picture is that this isn’t the case. What we have seen over the course of the past couple of days, more than 80 Palestinians killed, the population of the Gaza strip – 43% of it is under the age of 14, and we’ve seen that half of the people who have been killed are women and children. The idea that Palestinians use their children as human shields is racist and reprehensible. And the idea that the Israelis are somehow spewing this and we’re to believe it is also racist.Tapper is right and Buttu is, most generously, prevaricating. Below are some resources on (1) some recent coverage of Hamas deploying human shields (2) further background on the IDF's efforts to minimize civilian casualties, including descriptions of how the warnings work.
TAPPER: Diana, it’s not racist that we have video of the Hamas spokesman on television telling people to stay in their homes, that it’s an effective way to make sure, to fight off the Israelis. That’s not racist, that’s just a fact.
The use of human shields is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, Additional Protocol I and the State of the International Criminal Court.