EXCLAMATION POINTS

Second Lebanon War (2006):

[D]uring the final 72 hours of the conflict… Israel engaged in saturation cluster bombing, hitting more than 850 strike sites with millions of submunitions. According to the United Nations, 90 percent of Israel’s cluster munition strikes took place over this brief period. A commander of an IDF MRLS unit told a Ha’aretz reporter, ‘What we did was insane and monstrous; we covered entire towns in cluster bombs’. He said that, in order to compensate for the cluster rockets’ imprecision, his unit was ordered to ‘flood’ the area with them.

These strikes occurred after the UN Security Council had adopted Resolution 1701 on August 11 calling for an immediate ceasefire, but before the Lebanese and Israeli cabinets met individually to set the time for the formal ceasefire to take effect on August 14. At that time, Israel knew a settlement was likely to be imminent. (Human Rights Watch)

Operation Protective Edge (2014):

In the days immediately leading up to the ceasefire, Israeli forces launched attacks that destroyed three multistorey residential buildings in Gaza City and a modern commercial centre in Rafah, amid vague assertions that the residential buildings housed a Hamas command centre and ‘facilities linked to Palestinian militants’ but without providing any compelling evidence or explanation why. 
(Amnesty International, p. 199)

Before the first ceasefire, they told us we were going in [to the Gaza Strip] to take down a house… [We] asked, ‘Which house are we taking down?’ And they said, ‘We want to make a big boom before the ceasefire’.
(Engineering, First Sergeant (Gaza City), p. 72)

[Around 12 structures were destroyed.] The incursion happened the night before there was a ceasefire… And because they knew that, there was pressure to go in and finish the job very, very quickly. And also, because of that, they went in to just destroy stuff. Just to purposelessly destroy stuff, to finish the job, until they were told to stop.
(Infantry, Lieutenant (Rafah), p. 109)

[In] the ‘Sevivon’ neighbourhood, (east of Beit Hanoun) I would say that half of the houses were wiped out… [There] was one night that [ground forces] advanced into combat and then retreated, and when they retreated air force jets struck the houses in which the [weapons] caches were found early on… Various targets were hit by fighter jets that night…
When did [the air force] attack?
Six or 7:00 AM. Before the beginning of the ceasefire.
Why right then and not earlier, if there was intelligence?
To strike a significant blow – ‘an accomplishment’ before the ceasefire. It’s sad, but that’s the way things are done.
(IDF soldier, pp. 160-61)

You said earlier that the houses you stayed in got blown up afterward.
Yes. After we left I heard a boom. I looked back and I saw an air bombardment, and they told us, ‘Yeah, there’s going to be a ceasefire, so we want to have “the final word” before we leave’.
(Infantry, First Sergeant (Northern Gaza Strip), pp. 171-72)

There was a humanitarian ceasefire that went into effect at 6:00 AM. I remember they told us at 5:15 AM, ‘Look, we’re going to put on a show’. It was amazing, the air force’s precision. The first shell struck at exactly quarter past five on the dot, and the last one struck at 5:59 AM and 59 seconds, exactly. It was amazing. Fire, nonstop shelling of the ‘Sevivon’ neighbourhood, (east of Beit Hanoun)… Nonstop. Just nonstop. The entire Beit Hanoun compound – in ruins.
(Infantry, First Sergeant (Northern Gaza Strip), pp. 182-83)

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