While touring military deployments in southern Israel today, Israeli Army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz admonished division commanders to “pay attention not to just take random houses and fire at them unnecessarily.”
The comments come just a day after a very high profile incident in which Israel attacked a seemingly random house and discovered it was full of civilians, including a large number of children. Israeli officials blamed the incident on a “targeting” mistake.
Though public criticism of the 2008-09 Israeli invasion of Gaza was kept fairly limited, post-war criticism of the seemingly random nature of a lot of Israeli attacks grew in the months and years to follow. Already, there is a palpable sense in the Israeli press that massive civilian death tolls are going to be a lot tougher to paper over this time around.
It’s also going to be difficult to avoid, because the Israeli government seems determined to escalate attacks on the tiny strip but doesn’t seem to have all that many real targets, and is measuring its escalation in quantity of targets hit, without any indication that they are hitting much other than random houses.