Palestine: IDF bombed Gaza’s high-rises to vent frustration: Israeli pilot
By Zein Khalil
JERUSALEM (AA): Israel’s bombardment of high-rise buildings in the Gaza Strip was a way to vent frustration caused by the failure to stop rocket fire from Gaza, an Israeli pilot revealed on Saturday.
This comes after the cease-fire, brokered by Egypt, went into effect at 2 a.m. local time on Friday (2300 GMT Thursday). It came after 11 days of Israeli airstrikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip.
At least 279 Palestinians were killed, including 69 children and 40 women, and 1,910 others injured in recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Israeli Channel 12 interviewed a number of Israeli pilots who participated in bombing nine multi-story residential buildings, including the one that housed foreign media outlets in Gaza.
“I went on a mission to carry out airstrikes with a feeling that destroying the towers is a way to vent frustration over what is happening to us and over success of the groups in Gaza in kicking us,” one of the pilots said.
“We failed to stop the rocket fire and to harm the leadership of these groups, so we destroyed the towers,” he added.
According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Palestinian factions in Gaza fired around 4,000 rockets into Israel, causing the death of 12 people along with hundreds of injuries.
In the course of the Israeli offensive on Gaza, Israeli military destroyed nine multi-story buildings, claiming that they were being used by the Palestinian groups. Rights watchdogs have demanded an international probe into the Israeli claims.
A senior Israeli military analyst said on Friday that the Israeli army failed to thwart and destroy the Palestinian missile launch system during recent Israeli attacks on Gaza.
“The Israeli army has reset the conditions and rules of the game under which the conflict in the south (Gaza) has been conducted for recent decades, and from now on, the ball is in the hands of the political leadership in Israel,” Ron Ben-Yishai, a military analyst, wrote at the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth.
“The Israeli army failed to thwart and destroy the missile launch system as many of the main strategic weapons of the hostile organizations in Gaza are still usable which allows Hamas and the (Islamic) Jihad to threaten Israel,” he said.
The fighting, the fiercest in years, came to a halt on Friday under an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire.
* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara
[Photo: Smoke rises after Israeli forces destroyed high rise buildings in Gaza City where Al-Jazeera, Associated Press had their offices, on May 15, 2021. Photographer: Mustafa Hassona/AA]
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