Relationship “not good”
Israeli officers: For every terrorist, two civilians die
December 5, 2023, 2:59 a.m
The population there is paying a high price in blood for Israel’s fight against Hamas in the Gaza Strip: for every Hamas member killed, two civilians die. The army, which is now apparently advancing on Khan Yunis, says the fight will be conducted more precisely in the south.
According to two high-ranking Israeli officers, two civilians were killed for every Hamas fighter killed in the military operation against the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This relationship is “not good,” but the use of civilians as human shields is part of Hamas’s “fundamental strategy,” said one of the two military officials, who did not want to be named, in an interview with journalists.
It is hoped that the number of civilians killed in relation to fighters killed will improve “significantly” as the fighting in the Gaza Strip continues, an officer said. Asked about information that 5,000 Hamas fighters had been killed, one of the officers said that number was “more or less exact.” The Israeli army is trying to keep the number of civilian casualties as low as possible, the officers said. The military uses sophisticated mapping software that uses cell phone signals, aerial surveillance and artificial intelligence to determine how many people are in different areas of the Gaza Strip. In addition, in the south of the Gaza Strip, where the population has almost doubled, the military is “taking much more detail” and taking “much more time” to effectively warn the civilian population.
On Monday, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller also confirmed that the Israeli army would now proceed more precisely. “Much more precise evacuation orders” would be made, Miller said. Washington therefore hopes that significantly fewer people will be displaced in the south of the Gaza Strip than in the north. Most recently, Israel significantly expanded its operations in the Gaza Strip in the war against the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas and, according to eyewitnesses, advanced into the south of the area with dozens of tanks and troop transports, among other things.
During the night there were reports that the army had fired on targets in the area of the city of Khan Yunis. The Israeli newspaper “Times of Israel” cites Palestinian reports that there are intense attacks by Israeli forces in the largest city in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Eyewitnesses also said they spotted armored personnel carriers and bulldozers near Khan Yunis.
Israel contradicts WHO
In view of the suffering of the civilian population, criticism of the army’s actions is growing. Aid organizations speak of “horror” and “unbearable suffering.” No one would feel safe if bombs were falling every ten minutes, said James Elder, spokesman for the UN children’s fund Unicef, to the BBC. The World Health Organization (WHO) said a medical camp in the south of the Gaza Strip had to be evacuated on Israeli orders. The army had warned that ground operations would make the camp inaccessible, the WHO said. The Israeli Defense Ministry denies this.
Hamas killed more than 1,200 people, including at least 850 civilians, in its terrorist attack on Israel on October 7th. According to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, almost 15,900 people have now died in the Israeli counterattacks. The number of victims cannot currently be independently verified, but the United Nations and other observers point out that the authority’s figures have proven to be overall credible in the past. Hamas kidnapped around 240 people from Israel to the Gaza Strip. The terrorists still have 136 of them in their control.