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Israeli analyst: army used massive, wasteful firepower in Gaza

The Israeli army used disproportionately huge amounts of firepower in Gaza, according to leading security and military affairs analyst Amos Harel, writing in today's Haaretz newspaper.

Examining the Israeli military's request for $2.35 billion to cover the war's "direct expenses", Harel claims that "the management of the war displayed wastefulness, both in the use of firepower and in the number of reservists called up".

Harel cites the findings of the Brodet Committee, established after the 2006 Lebanon War, which found that the IDF had used "a large surplus of firepower" and fired at "a great many targets… with little to show for it". Harel notes that the IDF fired more than 170,000 artillery shells at suspected rocket-launching sites in Lebanon – without killing "a single Hezbollah combatant".

This summer in Gaza, Harel writes, "the general approach was unchanged".

Most of the information about this is classified, though defense establishment sources do confirm that intensive use was made of vital stocks of firepower and munitions. And this, we should remember, was in a conflict with Hamas, Israel's weakest regional enemy…

Harel claims that Hamas "inflicted many casualties" on IDF forces through "explosive devices and long-distance sharpshooting", as opposed to "face-to-face battles" or "antitank missiles".

In the face of this threat, the army used massive firepower, from artillery to hand grenades and light arms, not to mention tanks and, of course, precise aerial munitions. Veteran army people who perused the final data were surprised at what they saw.

The article also cites an anonymous senior officer in the Israeli military's General Staff on the army's need for substantial levels of munitions. In Gaza, the high-ranking official said, "you have to fire at every window that is overlooking and threatening your forces". Such comments will add to the evidence that the Israeli army committed war crimes in Gaza through the deliberate use of indiscriminate and disproportionate force.

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