Israel routinely used one of its biggest and most destructive bombs in areas it designated safe for civilians in Gaza during the first six weeks of the war, a report claimed. The New York Times, citing video evidence, reported that Israel used 2,000-pound bombs in an area of southern Gaza where Israel had ordered civilians to move for safety. Bombs of this size are used by several Western militaries, but are almost never dropped in densely populated areas anymore, it said quoting experts.
Using an artificial intelligence tool to scan satellite imagery of south Gaza for bomb craters, The New York Times reported that craters measuring roughly 40 feet across or larger were checked as typically only 2,000-pound bombs form craters of that size in Gaza’s soil, as per experts.
Almost 208 craters were identified in satellite imagery and drone footage but some are “likely to have been missed”, it said.
Findings “reveal that 2,000-pound bombs posed a pervasive threat to civilians seeking safety across south Gaza”, the report claimed. An Israeli military spokesman said in a statement responding to the report that Israel’s priority was destroying Hamas and “questions of this kind will be looked into at a later stage.” Israel “takes feasible precautions to mitigate civilian harm", he added.
This comes as Israel pressed its Gaza offensive as heavy shelling was reported in several cities in Gaza. The Hamas-controlled health ministry said 18 people were killed in a strike on a house in Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.
The Israeli army said that it had destroyed a "strategic" tunnel complex, a "Hamas headquarters and eliminated terrorists" in operations in Gaza City while the UN Security Council approved a resolution demanding "immediate, safe and unhindered" deliveries of life-saving aid be rushed to Gaza "at scale".