Nearly half of the air-to-ground munitions that Israel has used in Gaza in its war with Hamas since October 7 have been unguided, otherwise known as “dumb bombs,” according to a new US intelligence assessment.
The assessment, compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and described to CNN by three sources who have seen it, says that about 40-45% of the 29,000 air-to-ground munitions Israel has used have been unguided. The rest have been precision-guided munitions, the assessment says.
Unguided munitions are typically less precise and can pose a greater threat to civilians, especially in such a densely populated area like Gaza. The rate at which Israel is using the dumb bombs may be contributing to the soaring civilian death toll.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said Israel has been engaged in “indiscriminate bombing” in Gaza.
Asked for comment on the assessment, IDF spokesperson Nir Dinar told CNN, “We do not address the type of munitions used.”
Major Keren Hajioff, an Israeli spokesperson, said on Wednesday that “as a military committed to international law and a moral code of conduct, we are devoting vast resources to minimizing harm to the civilians that Hamas has forced into the role of human shields. Our war is against Hamas, not against the people of Gaza.”
But experts told CNN that if Israel is using unguided munitions at the rate the US believes they are, that undercuts the Israeli claim that they are trying to minimize civilian casualties.
“I’m extremely surprised and concerned,” said Brian Castner, a former Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officer who now serves as Amnesty International’s senior crisis adviser on arms and military operations. [Continue reading…]