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UN Report: Limited Damage by IDF Strikes on Gaza

09-05-2014

JERUSALEM, Israel -- The U.N. Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs confirmed that Israeli airstrikes targeted the terror infrastructure, with minimal collateral damage.

Former Israeli Ambassador to Washington Yoram Ettinger summarized the extensive report on the U.N. findings in his weekend wrap-up Friday.

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

Most of the damage was 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 percent 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, either 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 -- systematically and deliberately targeting 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 forfeiting 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 areas targeted by Israeli airstrikes housed multiple tunnel entrances and shafts, as well as launching sites for mortars and missiles and other terror-related infrastructures.

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