Hamas Violations of Humanitarian Law during the Operation Cast Lead - The article analyses, under international humanitarian law (IHL), the conduct of Hamas before and during the Israeli Operation Cast Lead. Hamas breached a number of cardinal rules. The firing of rockets and suicide attacks on civilians qualify as a breach of the principle of distinction and an act of terrorism. Hamas is also responsible for the taking of a hostage (the Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit) and, possibly, for the use of human shields. In the case at hand, it is however to be noted that the duty to take precautions in defence is limited by the peculiar topographical situation of the Gaza Strip. As to other possible violations of IHL, at the time of writing, the use of prohibited booby traps and the improper use of distinctive emblems had not been sufficiently substantiated on a point of fact. Having demonstrated that IHL has been clearly breached, one should try and understand which incentives and disincentives can be used to persuade a group of individuals, who are the object of the targeted killings policy of the State of Israel, that respect for IHL is not only a value, but also an opportunity. Under this perspective, it is of note that the declarations of the leaders of Hamas refer, often vaguely, to some fundamental concepts of IHL. That shows that the organization perceives, at least in terms of reputation, the importance of respecting IHL.