IDF Pinpoint Strikes: Targeting Terrorists, Avoiding Civilians

Urban warfare proves difficult because terror targets are often located in densely populated areas. In order to limit civilian casualties, the IDF uses precision attacks on these terror sites.

IDF blog (July 11) — During the first three days of Operation Protective Edge, the IDF made extensive use of tactics to avoid civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip. As the operation progresses, the IDF is gathering more evidence that Hamas takes advantage of the densely populated Gaza Strip and civilian population to protect themselves.

As Hamas fires rockets on Israel, it systematically exploits Palestinian civilians as human shields for military targets in Gaza. Hamas stores explosives and weapons in and around schools, mosques, residential homes and other civilian infrastructures.

These images, taken by the Israel Air Force, show how Hamas positions its rocket launching sites, weapons caches, and command centers in areas surrounded by civilian buildings.


In order to limit the casualties to innocent bystanders, the IDF uses a number of tactics including precision airstrikes on weapons caches, tunnels, and other terror targets.

On July 9, the IDF targeted terror tunnels in the Gaza Strip. The precision attacks caused secondary explosions inside the tunnels, destroying the explosives stored inside and proving that the tunnels contained weapons caches near Palestinian homes.

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The following video shows a recent precision strike on a terror site located next to a school, which was left unharmed.

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As a warning tactic, the IDF targets buildings with loud but non-lethal bombs, meant to warn civilians that they are in the vicinity of a weapons cache or other target. This method is used to allow all residents to leave the area before the IDF targets the site with live ammunition.

This video shows how Hamas exploits the IDF’s efforts to avoid civilian casualties. On July 9, Palestinians fled a Hamas target after the IDF fired a warning shot. Moments later, other residents flocked to the roof to act as human shields. The Israeli aircraft called off the strike in order to avoid casualties.

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Despite these challenges, the IDF will continue to act against Hamas terror in order to defend its citizens.

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