Due to concerns over civilian casualties, the Israeli military aborted missions that could have eliminated 14 senior terrorists in the Gaza Strip, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces revealed in a radio interview today.
“I can share with you that in the past five days we could have struck 14 of their senior terrorists in Gaza, but we didn’t because we thought the collateral damage would be far too large,” stated Lt. Peter Lerner, senior IDF spokesperson and commander of the IDF social media activities.
Lerner was speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s 970 AM The Answer.
He described the unusual steps taken by the Israel Air Force in recent days to avoid civilian casualties in the densely populated Gaza Strip, where the territory’s Hamas rulers have been accused of using civilians as human shields and hiding command centers and rocket silos in apartments, hospitals and mosques.
“In this conflict at this time there is only one party that cares about the people of Gaza and it isn’t Hamas,” said Lerner.
Lerner explained to Klein the process carried out by the air force before striking a target: “We actually, first of all, call up our enemy, the terrorist. We say, ‘We are going to attack your command and control position. Please vacate the premises.’ Then we let them go out. Then we strike the building with a non-explosive munition that makes a noise.
“We call that process ‘knock on the roof.’ So it goes ‘bang,” he explained. “It doesn’t do any damage, but it gets you moving.”
Only after visual verification that civilians vacated does IDF carry out a strike, Lerner said.
He said each strike uses “the right amount of munitions” that will be just enough to destroy the target but minimize civilian casualties.
The IDF last week released YouTube videos showing a mission was aborted when Gazan civilians ascended to the roof of a building to serve as human shields, while another mission was nixed after children were seen walking near the target, a cache of rockets.
Listen to the full interview below: