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  • 22 Apr, 2024

According to experts, the bombing was beyond recognition and the explosion was the most destructive in modern history.Smoke rises over the Gaza Strip

Nearly three months of relentless Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip has destroyed 70 percent of homes in the besieged Palestinian enclave, according to the government's news service. No further details were provided, but earlier reports said Israel's bombing, the deadliest in modern history, destroyed more than 200 cultural heritage and archaeological sites.

According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, approximately 300,000 of Israel's 439,000 homes were destroyed in the Israeli attacks. The report, which analyzed satellite imagery, added that 29,000 roadside bombs hit residential areas, Byzantine churches, hospitals, and shopping centers, causing irreparable damage to the entire civilian infrastructure.

"The word 'Gaza' will go down in history along with Dresden (Germany) and other famous cities that were bombed," Robert Pfaff, a political scientist at the University of Chicago who has written about the history of aerial bombing, told the WSJ. In about two months, the offensive caused more damage than the destruction of Aleppo, Syria, and Mariupol, Ukraine, from 2012 to 2016, or, proportionately, the Allied bombing of Germany in World War II. In a three-year campaign targeting the Islamic State (ISIS), it has killed more civilians than the US-led coalition. Between 1942 and 1945, Allied forces attacked 51 cities and towns in Germany, destroying about 40 to 50 percent of urban areas, Pape told The Associated Press.

"Gaza is in the midst of one of the most intense civil reprisal campaigns in history," Pape said. "It is now in the top quartile of the most destructive bombings."

"The gauze is now a different color than space. It has a different texture," Corey Scher of the CUNY Graduate Center and Jamon Van Den Hook of Oregon State University told The Associated Press.

Deadliest incident in recent history

Israel's military operation in Gaza is one of the deadliest in recent history, leaving more than 21,500 dead and more than 55,000 injured, according to experts. Over a thousand children have been maimed since October 7 in Israeli attacks.

The Israeli military announced on October 7 that it had targeted Hamas militants who carried out a deadly attack in Israel. About 1,200 people were killed in the attack that started the current phase of the conflict.

Hamas claimed the attack was a response to Israel's blockade of Gaza and settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Palestinians view Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law, as the biggest obstacle to their future state.

"The level of destruction is so great because Hamas is deeply entrenched among the civilian population," Ephraim Inbar, director of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic and Security think tank, told The Associated Press. However, experts criticized Israel for bombing the Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated areas in the world and home to 2.3 million people in 365 square kilometers.

According to the media and human rights groups, most of those killed are civilians, with more than 70% of them being children, women and the elderly. More than 90 percent of the region's population has now become refugees, and aid groups are warning of rising hunger and disease. As Israel's crisis worsened, aid was limited. Meanwhile, the Israeli military has said little about the types of bombs and artillery it plans to use in Gaza. After analyzing explosive fragments found at the site of the attack and videos of the attack, experts estimate that most of the bombs dropped in the besieged area were manufactured in the United States. Among the weapons, they said, was a 900 kg "bomber" that killed hundreds of people in populated areas.

US news network CNN reported on December 14 that nearly half of all the munitions Israel has dropped on Gaza are "dumb" bombs that are not accurate enough to pose a serious threat to civilians. Earlier this week, Israeli military officials acknowledged that the high death toll in the Christmas Eve attack on a refugee camp in central Gaza was the result of military tactics that used faulty ammunition that resulted in many civilian casualties.

Israeli news channel 972 previously reported that the Israeli military had relaxed its standards for civilian casualties in the attack, which killed more civilians than in previous military strikes. Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of using banned white phosphorus. Israel has denied these claims. The Israeli military reiterated that any attack would be approved by legal advisers to ensure compliance with international law.

"We select the right munition to avoid unnecessary damage to each target," said Army spokesman Admiral Daniel Hagari.