IDF soldiers on tank near Gaza border 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
The army has updated its maps of the Gaza Strip since Operation Cast Lead with a
massive and unprecedented increase in the number of sensitive installations and
buildings marked as offlimits for IDF attacks.
During Operation Cast Lead
in January 2009, maps used by commanders operating on the ground in Gaza
highlighted some 1,800 buildings and various infrastructure sites that should
not be attacked and next to which troops needed to operate with extra
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The list included hospitals, United Nations facilities,
schools, power grids, flour mills, food storage centers and various homes and
Senior IDF officers have told The Jerusalem Post
new maps being drafted by the Gaza Division in the Southern Command ahead of a
possible future operation in Gaza now include more than 3,000 sites that are
off-limits to attacks.
The list is composed by the Gaza Coordination and
Liaison Administration, which receives the location and identification of each
site, mostly from nongovernmental organizations and the Palestinian Authority.
Each site is then reviewed by Military Intelligence and other security
“This is part of our preparations for a future conflict in
Gaza,” a senior officer told the Post
last week. “We hope that this will assist
us in minimizing civilian casualties and damages to civilian
With violence escalating along the Gaza border, the
possibility of another ground offensive in the Strip appears more likely as more
than 150 rockets and mortar shells slammed into the western Negev over the
IDF sources said that while the maps would help commanders
identify civilian sites in Gaza, it did not mean that they would not be damaged
during a future operation.
“There are cases where Hamas builds military
bases and weapons storage centers next to medicine factories,” one officer said.
“This is the way Hamas fights, cynically taking advantage of civilian