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Guest Column

Israel vindicated by UN damage assessment in Gaza
By Dan Smith
Sep 5, 2014 - 12:20:05 AM

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An analysis of the damage assessment data collected - on the Gaza War - by the UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (which has never been biased in Israel's favor), confirms that Israel attacked Hamas targets in a restrained manner:

*Israel did not retaliate by rote against Hamas' systematic attacks on civilian targets; Israel bombed areas which harbored Hamas missile launching grounds and facilities, command posts, terrorists homes and hideouts, operational bases, weapon inventory and tunnels.

*Most of the damage concentrated in very limited areas of 25 square meters of less, while most of Gaza was not damaged at all or in a very limited manner. Less than 5% of Gaza was hit by The Israel Defense Forces.

*The most populated areas of Gaza City, Jabaliya, Khan Yunes, Rafah and Deir el-Balah were disproportionally-undamaged: damaged in a very limited way or not damaged at all.

*The areas highlighted by the UN damage assessment report are compatible with the Israel Defense Forces briefings on the location of Hamas facilities, especially in the Shuja'iya area, which was the arena of the most intense battles.

*While Hamas concentrated its terror facilities - systetmatically and deliberately targetting Israeli civilians - in densely populated urban areas in Gaza, the vast majority of these urban areas were undamaged.

*Israel demonstrated exceptional efforts to minimize collateral damage - by urging civilians to evacuate ahead of bombings, thus forefeiting the surprise effect - guided by security requirements and not by retaliatory or political expediency.

*Israel followed surgical bombing tactic and not carpet bombing. The attacks were not random nor indiscriminate.

*Most of the Israeli bombing hit areas which housed multiple tunnel entrances and shafts, as well as launching sites for mortars and missiles and other terror-related infrastructures.

*15% of Hamas rockets and mortars were short, hitting civilian targets inside Gaza.

Dan Smith


Article Courtesy of Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
The Ettinger Report
"Second Thought: A US-Israel Initiative"
First published in "Israel Hayom" newsletter, August 24, 2014


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