'Hamas is using civilians as part of this war' Israel's air force chief says ... trends now
Israel's air force chief has accused Hamas of using civilians as part of its war against the Jewish state, after the IDF admitted carrying out an airstrike of a refugee camp.
In the wake of the strike that has further stoked anger at the Israeli military's bombardment of the Gaza Strip, Brigadier General Eyal Greenbaum insisted every target in the territory was being assessed in advance to minimise civilian losses.
A large explosion ripped through the densely packed Jabalia camp before nightfall, tearing facades off nearby buildings and leaving a deep, debris-littered crater.
Wails filled the air as hundreds of bystanders and volunteers clawed at concrete blocks and twisted metal looking for survivors.
The IDF says the strike killed a Hamas commander involved in the October 7 attacks that killed 1,400 in Israel, while reports on the ground say it killed at least 50 people.
Israel's air force chief has accused Hamas of using civilians as part of its war against the Jewish state, after the IDF admitted carrying out an airstrike of a refugee camp. Pictured: Palestinians search for casualties in the rubble in the wake of the deadly air strike
In the wake of the strike that has further stoked anger at the Israeli military's bombardment of the Gaza Strip, Brigadier General Eyal Greenbaum (pictured) insisted every target in the territory was being assessed in advance to minimise civilian losses
A man is seen carrying the limp body of a young girl after the strike of the refugee camp
Bodies of Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp, lie at a hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, October 31
Greenbaum told The Times that every strike goes through 11 or 12 stages of approval being being authorised by Israeli commanders.
He insisted that the IDF were closely following the international rules of war that state the rate of civilian deaths be proportional to the target's military importance.
Since the October 7 Hamas terror attack, Gaza has suffered weeks of relentless bombardment by Israel that has cost the lives of more than 8,500 people, including more than 3,500 children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
Israel has long accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields, launching rocket attacks from and setting up command centres in civilian buildings.
Critics of Israel say this accusation gives Israel carte-blanche to attack targets across the region, regardless of the number of civilian casualties.
But Greenbaum blamed Hamas for the civilian losses, saying that it has chosen to make the people of Gaza part of its war machine.
'It's not a campaign, it's a war in Israel right now,' he told The Times.
'We insist on keeping the process of how we select targets. These are our values. Unfortunately, there are a lot of casualties. We try to avoid these casualties. But Hamas-Isis uses civilians to be part of this war. Despite this decision we try to avoid civilian casualties, but unfortunately sometimes in this war it happens.'
He did admit that the current campaign has 'used more ammunition and struck more targets' than previous incarnations of the conflict.
By Thursday (October 26) Israeli forces had already launched 8,000 munitions into Gaza, according to the IDF - an incredibly high rate of fire.
An IDF legal adviser told the British newspaper that the greater importance of the war has changed how target assessments are being made.
'The way that the IDF manages this very difficult consideration, this very tragic loss of civilian life, has not been changed. The mechanism has not changed,' the adviser said, but that the 'greater threat' posed by Hamas changed the balance.
The adviser told The Times that the on-going conflict is 'fundamentally different' from previous wars between Israel and Hamas in the past.
Dozens of Palestinians search through the rubble in the wake of Tuesday's strike
A group of men search through the rubble of the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza, October 31
Israel said its warplanes had struck a 'vast' tunnel complex at the site, killing 'many Hamas terrorists', including local battalion commander Ibrahim Biari (pictured)
Greenbaum's comments came as hundreds of wounded Gaza residents and foreigners gathered at the Egypt border in a bid to flee the shattered territory.
Images showed long lines of ambulances and several people in wheelchairs at the Rafah border crossing - the only one not controlled by Israel -