THIS AMAZING VIDEO from the Gaza-based Watania news agency shows Israel’s controversial ‘knock on the roof’ air-strike warning in action.
The video demonstrates how a small missile strikes the house across the road from where the footage was captured. This is a warning that the house has been targeted for an air-strike.
About 15 minutes later the house is completely destroyed by two separate bombs from what the agency says was two F16 fighter planes. Most of this fifteen minute period is edited out of the video.
Rubble and debris are thrown into the air but when the dust clears it is evident that most of the house has been completely blown away.
Amnesty International have condemned the ‘knock on the roof’ procedure saying that is not effective.
“There is no way that firing a missile at a civilian home can constitute an effective ‘warning’,” argues Amnesty’s regional director Philip Luther. “Amnesty International has documented cases of civilians killed or injured by such missiles in previous Israeli military operations on the Gaza Strip”
Unless the Israeli authorities can provide specific information to show how a home is being used to make an effective contribution to military actions, deliberately attacking civilian homes constitutes a war crime and also amounts to collective punishment against the families.
But the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) claim Hamas are is using civilian areas to both store and launch rockets.
There also say they use other methods of informing people that their homes that are to be destroyed and in some cases have even phoned them.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland Elana Stein, a spokesperson for Israel’s deputy prime minster, says that Hamas’s use of civillian areas to launch attacks is effectively a war crime:
What we try and do is we try to tell civilians to leave the house so that we can try and get rid of these missiles that are a threat to our children. We’re trying to save their children and our children while Hamas’s owns spokesperson is telling people not to leave the houses.
Asked where the people who are warned can go, Stein says “there are other neighbourhoods that are not being attacked, there is a beach, there would be shelters if Hamas actually cared about the people”.