Col Tim Collins: Hamas 'committing war crimes'

By Jessica Elgot, January 20, 2010
Colonel Tim Collins

Colonel Tim Collins

Gulf War veteran Colonel Tim Collins has told the BBC that he believes Hamas is committing war crimes.

Col Collins, who grew up in Belfast during the Troubles, visited the town of Sderot in Israel and Gaza in a programme for BBC Newsnight, to give a soldier’s view of the Middle East conflict.

He was shown around Sderot bomb shelters and the police station, where he inspected a rocket from Gaza and pronounced it to be an indiscriminate weapon.

He said: “From growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, I can sympathise with the people of Sderot, this is just no way to live.”

Col Collins met several members of Fatah in Gaza, where they showed him the crude weapons and the tunnels from Egypt used for smuggling.

While in Gaza, he inspected a mosque bombed by the Israelis. In the cellar of the mosque, he found evidence of secondary explosions.

He said: “ It’s my opinion that the only thing that could have caused these explosions is that explosives were stored in this cellar. It’s the only legitimate explanation.”

Col Collins expressed his shock at posters with Hamas’ badge on them, showing rockets heading towards Sderot.

“This is a war crime by any standard,” he said.

Last updated: 3:54pm, January 21 2010