During the Second Intifada (2000–2005) Palestinian gunmen used civilians and children as human shields, by surrounding themselves with children while shooting on IDF forces.
In November 2006, Palestinian women volunteered as human shields to allow the escape of Hamas gunmen from Israeli forces in Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip. The armed Palestinians had barricaded themselves in a mosque, which was surrounded by Israeli troops and tanks. According to a Hamas spokesman, a crowd of women gathered outside the mosque in response to an appeal on the local radio station for women to protect the Hamas fighters. The Palestinian gunmen escaped by dressing in women's clothes and hiding in the large group.
Also in the same month, the Israeli Air Force warned Mohammed Weil Baroud, a Palestinian leader said to be responsible for firing Qassam rockets at Israel, to evacuate his home in Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip in advance of an airstrike. Instead, hundreds of Palestinians, including many women and children, gathered outside Baroud's house. Israel suspended the airstrike out of fear that the human shields would be killed or injured. In response to Israel's reaction, another Palestinian leader said: "We have won. From now on we will form human chains around every house that is threatened with demolition." The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Hamas now regularly uses human shields to protect the homes of Hamas officials.
The human rights group Rabbis for Human Rights agreed to act as human shields during the annual olive harvest to protect Palestinian villages from settlers.
On October 29, 2007, in response to criticism of Israel's bombing of a Beit Hanoun Elementary School for boys run by UNRWA, the Israel Defense Forces released drone footage of mortars shot from a street adjacent to the school. Israel warned Ban Ki Moon about the danger and requested an investigation. Local eyewitnesses later confirmed that Hamas militants had fired at Israeli troops from adjacent a UN school for girls where hundreds of Palestinians had sought refuge. Forty-three Palestinians were reported killed when a street outside the school was hit by return fire. Israel accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields. A report from the IDF brigade responsible for the attack stated that militants had launched a rocket into Israel from a yard adjacent to the UN building and the paratroop brigade had fired three rounds of mortars at the position. A GPS error led to one of the mortars hitting the building.
The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli NGO with close ties to the IDF, accused Hamas and other armed groups of making extensive use of human shields as integral part of their war doctrine, in order to prevent the IDF to target them, during the Gaza War (2008-2009). According to the ITIC, tactics used by Hamas that qualify as using human shields include hiding military infrastructure in civilian buildings—including "mosques, hospitals and educational institutions", firing rockets and mortar shells from civilian population centers, "summoning civilians to come to operatives’ houses to serve as human shields for terrorist operatives in danger of being attacked by the IDF" and using children as human shield by "surrounding operatives with children to facilitate their escape from combat zones". The IDF and Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a video accusing Hamas in a systematic use of civilians as human shield, including several photoes of Hamas militants using children as human shield and two videoes from the Gaza War (2008-2009) showing Hamas militants grabbing children, allegdly using them as a human shield. The IDF also released a video taken from an UAV drone documenting Hamas militant launching a rocket from a roof of a civilian house and then using children to escort him out to avoid being targeted by IDF forces.