Israel's bombing campaign of Gaza shows no signs of abating: as WaPo reports "Israel widened its air assault against the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers on Saturday, hitting a mosque it said was hiding rockets" as well as a school which it said was used by Hamas as a cover, "as Palestinians said their death toll from the five-day offensive rose to over 125."
The military said it has struck more than 1,100 targets, including Hamas rocket launchers, command centers and weapon manufacturing and storage facilities, in a bid to stop relentless rocket fire coming Gaza. Officials in the territory said that besides the mosque, the strikes also hit Hamas-affiliated charities and banks, as well as a home for the disabled, killing two women.
On the other of the border, there have so far been no reported fatalities in Israel from the continued rocket fire. This compares to a death toll in Gaza of over 125, according to its Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra, with more than 920 wounded. In order to validate the seriousness of the Gaza strikes, Israel continues to sound air raid sirens every few hours which then serve merely to justify even further Gaza bombing, and so on, in a closed loop.
Of course, in this millennia long conflict, "who started" is about the stupidest thing one can ask. Here are the photos of the destruction.
On the Israeli side:
And from Gaza:
In short, Hamas militants have been hit hard. Though the exact breakdown of casualties remains unclear, dozens of the dead also have been civilians. The offensive showed no signs of slowing down Saturday as Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said his country should ready itself for several more days of fighting.
Hamas said it hoped the mosque attack would galvanize support for it in the Muslim world.
“(It) shows how barbaric this enemy is and how much it is hostile to Islam,” said Husam Badran, a Hamas spokesman in Doha, Qatar. “This terrorism gives us the right to broaden our response to deter this occupier.”
The Israeli military released an aerial photo of the mosque it hit, saying Hamas hid rockets in it right next to another religious site and civilian homes. It said Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Gaza militant groups use this tactic of abusing religious sites to conceal weapons and establish underground tunnel networks, deliberately endangering civilians.
Perhaps. However it does not explain the soaring numbers of civilian casualties. And what makes it worse is that with surprising regularity the Israel defense forces release videos showing the pinpoint accuracy of Gaza bombing runs: in other words, if Israel wanted not to kill civilians it certainly could. As much is proven in the following IDF video released earlier, which allegedly shows an Israeli pilot calling off an airstrike after children were spotted near a target.
More proof of just how much precision Israel has when crushing Hamas, which increasingly appears to be a campaign merely designed to demoralize and inflict as much "collateral damage" as possible
Here the IDF targets an alleged rocket-launching site located near a school. It was unclear if any school children were present during the attack.
IDF bombing a car allegedly carrying three "terrorists":
More IDF strikes, this time on what are allegedly concealed weapons:
And more of the same: