Through the first six weeks of the struggle in Gaza, Israel routinely used one in all its largest and most harmful bombs in areas it designated protected for civilians, in keeping with an evaluation of visible proof by The New York Occasions.
The video investigation focuses on using 2,000-pound bombs in an space of southern Gaza the place Israel had ordered civilians to maneuver for security. Whereas bombs of that dimension are utilized by a number of Western militaries, munitions consultants say they’re nearly by no means dropped by U.S. forces in densely populated areas anymore.
The Occasions programmed a man-made intelligence software to scan satellite tv for pc imagery of south Gaza for bomb craters. Occasions reporters manually reviewed the search outcomes, on the lookout for craters measuring roughly 40 toes throughout or bigger. Munitions consultants say sometimes solely 2,000-pound bombs kind craters of that dimension in Gaza’s gentle, sandy soil.
In the end, the investigation recognized 208 craters in satellite tv for pc imagery and drone footage. Due to restricted satellite tv for pc imagery and variations in a bomb’s results, there are prone to have been many instances that weren’t captured. However the findings reveal that 2,000-pound bombs posed a pervasive risk to civilians looking for security throughout south Gaza.
In response to questions in regards to the bomb’s use in south Gaza, an Israeli navy spokesman mentioned in an announcement to The Occasions that Israel’s precedence was destroying Hamas and “questions of this type can be regarded into at a later stage.” The spokesman additionally mentioned that the I.D.F. “takes possible precautions to mitigate civilian hurt.”
However U.S. officers have mentioned that Israel ought to do extra to scale back civilian casualties whereas combating Hamas. The Pentagon elevated shipments to Israel of smaller bombs that it considers higher suited to city environments like Gaza. Nonetheless, since October, the US has additionally despatched greater than 5,000 MK-84 munitions — a kind of two,000-pound bomb.
Eric Schmitt, John Ismay, Neil Collier, Yousur Al-Hlou and Christoph Koettl contributed reporting.