Attacks on the Gaza Strip encompass difficult dilemmas. Hamas operates from the heart of the civil population while the IAF makes the upmost effort to prevent any hits at the civilian population. “Spotting one innocent civilian is enough to call the whole thing off”
It has been eight days since the IAF began operating intensively against terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. Amongst the tough dilemmas arising from combat operations in Gaza, one of the most pressing questions regards unnecessary hits on civilians who happen to be located in proximity to the targets. The Gaza Strip is one of the dense areas in the world, and if that were not enough, the Hamas uses civilians as human shields, launches missiles from civilian facilities and by hospitals and mosques.
Attack: Yes or No?
The intense combat conditions make it hard for ordinary civilians to be protected, but the IAF makes the upmost effort to try and minimize the hits: Exacting intelligence collection, using precise and advanced ammunition and scanning the area before attacking. “Trying to minimize civilian casualties is part of the values we set for ourselves”, clarifies Colonel L’, commander of Sde Dov Airbase, where there are forecast squadrons.
“It’s clear that we’re dealing with human lives”
The forecasst squadron that constantly roams the skies these days, examines targets and informs combat aircrafts whether to attack or not. “One of our main goals is to make sure that people who get hit from Israeli attacks are only people who endanger the citizens of Israel”, says commander of the squadron Lieutenant Colonel Itamar. “During this operation we were ordered to not attack before checking that there are no civilians around the area. We have to stick to our humane values–and that makes us even more powerful”.
The teams that go out for forecast missions are made of a pilot, heads the operation, and aerial scouts who are responsible for scanning the targets. “It’s clear to us that were dealing with human lives. It’s enough for us to spot one innocent civilian to call the whole thing off”, emphasizes major Ido, commander of the operation at the squadron. “We have heavy responsibilities on our shoulders, which is why we have to be extremely conscious and alert throughout the operation”.