One of the most popular yet misleading arguments made during the escalation is that Israel was not actually under attack, as proven by the low number of Israeli casualties.
“If Gaza was truly a threat,” goes the reasoning, “there would be more Israeli casualties. Just like there were in Gaza.”
The truth of the matter is that during the recent escalation, more than 200 rockets were fired from Gaza, with clear intentions of hurting the Israeli population. Each of these rockets, has the capability of killing bystanders and causing severe damage.
So, if an enormous number of rockets really hit a limited area which houses over a million residents, how come no one is killed?
1. Preventative strikes on terrorists and weapon manufacturing sites in Gaza:
A well-known IAF tactic which thwarts terror attacks by striking preemptively at a site where terrorists are in the act of launching rockets. This is important, because if there is no absolute certainty that these are terrorists actively harming Israel, the strike is aborted even at the last minute.
During the last escalation, the IAF stroke dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip, thwarting tens of rocket launching attempts and targeting countless terror activity sites and weapon storages. These strikes with the Strip dramatically reduced the threat posed to Israeli civilians, by simple elimination.
IAF plane thwarting rocket fire attempt last Thursday
2. The Iron Dome System: groundbreaking active defense.
A crucial defense during the escalation, the Iron Dome system proved invaluable when countering the rocket threat. Its goal: to shoot down rockets about to hit major population centers. Some rockets land in open areas and pose little threat, but many others hit cities and towns. It’s these rockets the Iron Dome system intercepts, calculating their trajectory and neutralizing them before they cause damage.
During the current escalation, the Iron Dome System surpassed even the expectations of its planners, as a 76% success rate–meaning 56 rockets aimed directly at Israeli civilians were shot down. Now that’s active defense.
Iron Dome Missile Defense System
3. The readiness of the Israeli Home Front:
This isn’t Israel’s time dealing with Gaza. In fact, over the last nine years, more than 8,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza, terrorizing the lives of over a million Israelis in the south. People are already used to having less than 15 seconds to run to the nearest bomb shelter every time a rocket falls. Many technologies have already been developed to help Israelis deal with the threat, such as installing a bomb-proof room in every house, or the implementation of the Red Color alarm system.
To help civilians be as safe as possible, in the past few days dozens of Home Front Command instructors visit shopping centers, schools and nursing homes throughout the country, explaining what to do in case of a rocket attack.
IDF Emergency Instructors briefing the elderly on what to do in case of a rocket attack
All together, the low number of injured Israelis in the recent escalation wasn’t due to any humane gestures made by the terror organizations, nor because they’re not really a threat–it was because the IDF makes a point of separating civilians and soldiers, and keeping the citizens of Israel safe.