Satellite images show destruction in bomb-ravaged Gaza

Satellite images show destruction in bomb-ravaged Gaza

UN organization says 604 buildings flattened by airstrikes, hundreds more severely damaged

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

UN satellite imagery of damage in Shejaiya in Gaza City (photo credit: UNITAR)
UN satellite imagery of damage in Shejaiya in Gaza City (photo credit: UNITAR)

Satellite images provided by a United Nations training organization showed the damage to buildings in the Gaza Strip from Israeli airstrikes over the three weeks of Operation Protective Edge.

The images, snapped by the Pleiades satellite, published over the weekend by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, compared the way a northeastern section of Gaza looked on July 6 — two days before the start of Israel’s offensive — and July 25. Damage could be seen to Gaza City, Toffah, Shejaiya, and Shaaf.

Shejaiya was the scene of heavy fighting as IDF forces clashed with hundreds of Hamas fighters in the densely built-up area.

UNITAR said analysis showed some 604 destroyed structures with another 236 severely damaged. There were an additional 46 moderately damaged structures. Roads, as well as agricultural and non-urbanized areas, were pockmarked with 66 craters from ordnance dropped by the Israeli Air Force.

However, UNITAR noted that the analysis and estimates have not been verified in the field.

According to its website UNITAR is a training division of the UN that conducts hundreds of research and development activities around the globe to aid organizations in decision-making.

Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to try and stem rocket fire aimed at Israeli towns and cities by Palestinian terrorists in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. After days of airstrikes, a ground operation began with the goal of destroying dozens of Hamas-dug tunnels that burrow under the border and that have been used by terrorists to stage attacks inside Israel.

Palestinian sources say over 1,000 Gazans have been killed in the fighting. Hundreds of them are gunmen, Israel says. Forty-three IDF soldiers, two Israeli civilians and one foreign worker have been killed, including six IDF soldiers killed by Hamas gunmen emerging from tunnels inside Israel.

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