According to a report in Israel's prominent Channel 12 news outlet, multiple Israeli pilots which were engaged in bombing operations over Gaza during this month's eleven days of fighting voiced that they often leveled entire buildings to "vent frustration".
A series of pilots were interviewed under anonymity so they'd be willing to speak more freely on things like the controversial 'roof tapping' procedure which warns residents in buildings to get out minutes before they are pummeled, as well as the air force's techniques for entirely flattening buildings.
A total of nine high-rise buildings had essentially collapsed in their own footprints during the bombardment, including the al-Jalaa media building which housed Associated Press and Al Jazeera offices. This would often involve a series of precision strikes at specific angles aimed at a structure's base. Additionally multiple hospitals and other health facilities had also been hit during the aerial campaign which in all took 248 Palestinian lives, among these 66 children, and wounding close to 2,000 more.
One Israeli pilot, identified only as "Major D" in the Channel 12 report, stunned by saying he sought to intentionally level entire towers as "a way to vent frustration" over Hamas' rocket fire and attacks on Jewish Israelis.
"I went on a mission to carry out air strikes with a feeling that destroying the towers is a way to vent frustration over what is happening to us and over the success of the groups in Gaza," the pilot explained according to a translation in Middle East Eye. Major D added: "We failed to stop the rocket fire and to harm the leadership of these groups, so we destroyed the towers."
The report further detailed that Israel's military says the intent of such tower-leveling actions is "to damage Hamas assets" but also "to deter the terrorist organizations in Gaza from continuing to launch rockets at Israeli cities."
As Palestinians return to their destroyed homes in Gaza after the ceasefire, an Israeli pilot said destroying Gaza's residential towers was a way of "venting frustration." pic.twitter.com/OmRnLutHBb— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 25, 2021
As for the rocket count from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Israel's defense ministry has tallied nearly 4,000 rockets over the period between May 10 and May 21 - after which the current ceasefire (which is over 5 days in) took effect.
While many of these rockets were brought down by the Iron Dome anti-air system, which the US has committed to replenishing for its closest Mideast ally, an unprecedented number scored hits in urban and residential areas, killing 12 civilians and injuring hundreds.