The Israeli airstrikes that hit the Jabalya refugee camp on Oct. 31 sent buildings tumbling down on families displaced from across the besieged enclave. More than 110 people were killed, many of them women and children crushed beneath the rubble, doctors said.
The Israeli military said the operation achieved its aim.
“We were focused on our target,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said Monday, referring to Ibrahim Biari, a high-ranking Hamas commander. “We know that he was killed.”
Since the conflict began, nearly 10,000 Palestinians have already been killed, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, as the IDF presses for the destruction of the Hamas militant group that rules the enclave. Although Israeli officials insist that each strike is subject to legal approval, experts say the rules of engagement, which are classified, appear to include a higher threshold for civilian casualties than in previous rounds of fighting.
“There was always a conscious effort to limit the amount of civilian casualties in the few occasions that we have struck in areas where we knew that there would be civilian casualties,” said Jonathan Conricus, the international spokesman for the IDF. He would not comment on whether Israel has changed its rules of engagement and accused Hamas of inflating the death toll. [Continue reading…]