Unguided Bombs in Gaza: An Examination of Military Tactics

The recent conflict in Gaza has highlighted a concerning detail in Israel's warfare strategy – the use of unguided bombs.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Unguided Bombs in Gaza: An Examination of Military Tactics
© Getty Images News/Ahmad Hasaballah

The recent conflict in Gaza has highlighted a concerning detail in Israel's warfare strategy – the use of unguided bombs. Photos sourced from the Israeli Air Force have verified the deployment of M117 unguided bombs during their attacks on the Gaza Strip.

These bombs, by their very nature, don't have the sophistication to differentiate between civilian and military targets, leading to widespread devastation in their wake. Experts analyzing the situation have pointed out that the M117 bombs, when loaded into Israeli F-16s, lack the special kits that would transform them into precision weapons.

Such kits give the bombs an accuracy that enables them to hit targets within a few meters. In the absence of these modifications, the inherent unpredictability of unguided weapons becomes all the more pronounced. For those familiar with Israel's past military engagements, the use of unguided bombs is not unprecedented.

In prior confrontations with groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, Israel has deployed unguided bombs. However, they were typically the slightly more aerodynamic variants like the MK-84 and MK-82. These have a marginally better accuracy compared to the M117.

The Backdrop: Rising Tensions in the Region

The most recent conflict in Gaza was ignited by Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, orchestrated by Hamas. This multi-pronged assault saw a barrage of rocket launches, coupled with land, sea, and air infiltrations into Israel.

According to reports, the operation was a retaliation against perceived attacks on the Al-Aqsa mosque and escalating violence by Israeli settlers. In response, the Israeli military initiated Operation Swords of Iron, targeting Hamas establishments within the Gaza Strip.

Beyond the military strategies and skirmishes, however, lies a tragic humanitarian dimension. Gaza, at present, is grappling with an acute humanitarian crisis. The residents face blackouts with a complete lack of electricity.

Essential resources, such as water, food, fuel, and medical supplies, are dwindling rapidly, making everyday survival a challenge for the local populace. In warfare, the lines between strategic necessity and humanitarian ethics often blur.

But as the recent conflict in Gaza shows, it is the civilians who bear the brunt of choices made in war rooms. The international community watches with bated breath, hoping for a resolution that will restore peace and alleviate the suffering of the innocent.

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