Gaza Devastation: Israel Drops Equivalent of Two Nuclear Bombs
Story Code : 1095746
Since October 7, over 25,000 tons of explosives have rained down on the densely populated area, causing widespread death and destruction.
The scale of devastation is comparable to the impact of the Little Boy nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II, which yielded 15,000 tons of high explosives, obliterating everything within a one-mile radius, according to Al Jazeera.
Gaza's skies, both day and night, have been marred by the red glow of missile flashes, as Israel's military operations persist. The toll on the 2.3 million residents of Gaza has been severe, with more than 11,000 lives lost, including over 8,000 children. Thousands remain missing or trapped beneath the rubble of demolished homes.
Israel claims to have targeted 12,000 sites within the besieged Palestinian territory, marking one of the most intense bombing campaigns in recent history. Satellite imagery and photographs reveal entire neighborhoods leveled, hospitals and schools damaged, and communication systems disabled.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), World Health Organization (WHO), and the Palestinian government report extensive damage, including:
Half of Gaza's homes damaged, with over 40,000 completely destroyed
The use of "smart bombs" by Israel, purportedly aimed at precise targeting of militant infrastructure, has come under scrutiny. Military analyst Elijah Magnier argues, "Israel's use of ‘smart bombs’ in Gaza is part of a broader military strategy aimed at accurately targeting militant infrastructure to achieve military objectives, with no attempt to limit civilian casualties and infrastructure damage."
Gaza, home to 1.7 million refugees ethnically cleansed from areas now part of Israel, faces a dire humanitarian crisis. The North Gaza refugee camp of Jabalia, housing 116,000 refugees, has been repeatedly struck, resulting in hundreds of casualties. The international community has expressed concern over potential war crimes, calling for accountability.
As Israel's assault continues, the once-declared safe zones in southern Gaza have not been spared. An estimated 800,000 to a million people have fled to the south, while indiscriminate airstrikes target UN-marked schools, hospitals, and declared safe zones, leaving hospitals without power and essential services disrupted.
The precision-guided missiles (PGMs), often touted for their accuracy, raise questions about collateral damage. Magnier argues that the use of smart bombs aims not only at military objectives but at causing maximum civilian casualties and terrorizing the Palestinian population to trigger a mass exodus.
The United States' role in maintaining Israel's military might is evident, with a recent bill providing $14.5 billion in military aid. Israel's air force, equipped with 339 combat-capable aircraft, relies on US-made munitions, including precision-guided variants.
The impact of PGMs on Gaza's infrastructure and population psychology is significant, with reports of secondary strikes hitting rescue workers and civilians. The deliberate targeting of essential facilities, including hospitals, has led to accusations of war crimes.
International humanitarian law expressly prohibits the destruction of facilities essential to the survival of civilian populations, including water supplies, electricity, and medical facilities. Recent Israeli airstrikes, such as the attack on an ambulance convoy near al-Shifa Hospital, which killed at least 15 people and wounded 60 others, have drawn condemnation as they targeted vital medical facilities.
The largest medical facility in Gaza, al-Shifa Hospital, is among the 270 healthcare facilities attacked over the past month. Power generators at al-Shifa and the Indonesian Hospital stopped working since November 3, creating a dire situation for patients, health workers, and those fleeing the conflict who sought shelter in these areas.
Elijah Magnier asserts that actions deliberately taken to starve the population or deny them access to essential health services are considered war crimes. Such measures, amounting to collective punishment and prohibited under the Fourth Geneva Convention, raise pressing questions about how to hold Israel accountable for actions that defy the precision warfare claims associated with the use of PGMs.
The international community faces the challenge of holding Israel accountable for actions that defy the principles of precision warfare and violate humanitarian laws, leaving Gaza in a state of fear and helplessness.