Amid claims of Israel striking civilian occupations in the Gaza strip, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released footage of an operation that was called off due to the presence of children at the target location during its counter operations against Hamas. In the video shared by the IDF, the Command Control can be heard giving clear instructions to avert the airstrike due to the presence of children which had been confirmed.
Similarly, on Saturday, when the IDF razed down a 15-storey high-rise building in Gaza, which was allegedly used by Hamas for multiple military purposes, the IDF had issued a 60-minute prior warning to ensure that civilians had vacated the building before it was turned into mere smoke and dust.
In the video shared by the Israeli Defense Forces on Sunday, the Command Control room and the pilot can be heard discussing over static radio. Here is a transcript of the radio chatter:
Command control: Check if there are children there, there are children there.
Pilot: They are moving too fast, it can’t be children. Command control: There are probably children here, we are stopping everything. Pilot: That’s right, there is a big one and a few little ones. Command Control: We suspect there are children here and we won’t continue given the possibility that they are children.
Fighting a terrorist organization that operates within civilian areas isn’t easy. Watch as IDF pilots call off a strike because children were there: pic.twitter.com/N8ycwqwgck — Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 16, 2021
Meanwhile, in response to the 600 rockets fired by Hamas aimed at Israel on Saturday night, the IDF claimed that it has struck military assets in Hamas’ intelligence unit. The IDF said that the headquarters in northern Gaza which was attacked today has harmed the terrorist organization’s central infrastructure.
We struck military assets in Hamas’ intelligence HQ in northern Gaza, significantly harming the terrorist organization’s central infrastructure. — Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 16, 2021
On the contrary, the Gaza Health Ministry has said that the death toll from Israeli strikes on the main thoroughfare in Gaza City has climbed to 33, including 12 women and eight children. It was the deadliest single attack since heavy fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers erupted nearly a week ago. The ministry says another 50 people were wounded in the strikes early Sunday, mostly women and children. The IDF is yet to comment on the same.
Israel sends air, ground troops to Gaza
Israel’s Iron Dome missiles could be seen from Tel Aviv late on Thursday as the missile defence system activated to intercept rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel. Hamas sent a heavy barrage of rockets deep into Israel during the day as Israel pounded Gaza with more airstrikes and shells, and called up 9,000 more reservists who could be used to stage a ground invasion. The hostilities intensified despite mediation efforts by Egyptian negotiators who held in-person talks with both sides.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, has ordered the mobilisation of an additional 9,000 reservists, implying a potential land invasion of Arab-controlled territory. Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman, the chief military spokesman, echoed his stance, saying that reserve forces, tanks, and heavy artillery were accumulating along the Gaza border and were ready for “mobilisation at any given moment.” With devastation hitting new heights every day, the conflict is expected to have far-reaching consequences beyond the Intifada in Palestine.