Jan 14, 2024 - World

Over 50% of Gaza buildings damaged or destroyed in Israel's bombardment

Data: Damage analysis of Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite data by Corey Scher of CUNY Graduate Center and Jamon Van Den Hoek of Oregon State University. Map: Will Chase/Axios

More than half of all buildings in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed by Israeli strikes in the 100 days since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, according to a new analysis of satellite data.

The big picture: Experts describe Israel's military campaign as the most destructive in recent history. Strikes have hit every major population center along the Strip. More than 1.9 million people— about 85% of Gaza's population — have been displaced since the war began.

  • Palestinians and the UN have repeatedly said there is no safe place in the enclave to shelter.
  • More than 23,900 Palestinians — 70% of whom were women and children — have been killed amid Israel's bombardment and ground offensive, according to the Ministry of Health in Hamas-run Gaza.

Zoom in: After decimating the northern region containing Gaza City, the Israeli military shifted much of its focus to Khan Younis and other parts of the southern region, where Israel had early in the war ordered civilians from the north to evacuate.

  • A video investigation from the New York Times found that Israel dropped over two hundred 2,000-pound bombs in an area of southern Gaza it had designated as safe for civilians. Such munitions are rarely used by U.S. forces in populated areas due to their destructiveness.

Details: Damage is greatest in the north, where between 70-80% of buildings are damaged or destroyed, according to the analysis of satellite data, which was conducted by Jamon Van Den Hoek of Oregon State University and Corey Scher of CUNY Graduate Center.

  • A Washington Post investigation found that Israel's military has repeatedly conducted airstrikes near hospitals and targeted hospitals in ground raids, which is prohibited under the laws of war.
  • The Israeli military says Hamas militants have been hiding in or beneath these buildings. Israel vowed to destroy Hamas after the militant group killed more than 1,200 people, mainly civilians, during the Oct. 7 attack, according to Israeli officials.
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