The Israeli Army warned Palestinian civilians in advance that they planned to bomb targeted buildings in Gaza, according to a United Nations report. Twenty-three Palestinian civilians, including seven children have been killed in Gaza since July 7, when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began a bombing campaign called “Operation Protective Edge.” Approximately 150 homes have been destroyed or damaged by the airstrikes. Gaza hospitals are overwhelmed and shortages require them to operate using backup generators. The document assessing the damage and conditions was released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). “When houses are used for military purposes, they may become legitimate military targets under international law,” the IDF said in a statement. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu put it more plainly, saying Hamas officials were “maliciously hiding behind Palestinian civilians.”
The Ministry of the Interior of the Palestinian National Authority issued a statement calling the Israeli aggression “barbaric” and, in an English translation, citing the “fishy Arab and international silence.” The ministry urged its citizens not to “pay attention to the psychological warfare carried out by the occupation.” The ministry also called on its people “to protect the home front and maintain stability.” This was in some views interpreted as an order to ignore the IDF’s early warning about the bombings and not to evacuate. The UN report says that in the period “leading to the start of the current operation a total of 15 Palestinians, including one civilian, were killed, and another 58 others, mostly civilians, injured, as a result of Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.” The IDF makes a point of saying rockets are going both ways, as below:
Today: 77 rockets hit Israel; Iron Dome intercepted an additional 19. Since July 8: 490 rockets hit Israel; 129 Iron Dome interceptions.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 11, 2014