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.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.