Israel’s ‘Knock on the Roof’ Tactic Gains Attention as It Calls Civilians Before Bombing Targets -Hamas attacks Israel with “Made in China” rockets

An Israeli airstrike on a Hamas-linked building in Gaza City on May 14, 2021.

Recently Israel has struck back at Hamas, a terrorist organization allegedly backed by the Chinese Communist Party. While the Chinese Communist Party media has played up civilian casualties, online sources indicate that Israel calls residents to notify them to evacuate before bombing buildings in Gaza. According to previous party media reports, this is an Israeli tactic of “knocking on the roof” that has significantly reduced civilian casualties.

When Hamas fired hundreds of rockets at Israel a few days ago, Israel began to respond with missiles, including the successful beheading of Hamas’ top commander in Gaza and the destruction of a number of buildings suspected of being linked to Hamas.

Videos on the Internet say that before bombing a building in Gaza, the Israeli military calls the building’s residents to warn of the attack and inform them to evacuate. Multiple videos show residents receiving phone calls, communicating with Israeli military personnel to confirm news of the bombing, and even “bargaining” with each other over the location of the bombing.

According to earlier reports in Chinese Communist Party media, this is a “knock on the roof” tactic that Israel has used for years to destroy Hamas military personnel or ammunition and weapons caches while minimizing civilian casualties. Hamas often hides in civilian buildings to avoid Israeli attacks.

The tactic began in early 2009 when Israel obtained intelligence that a large number of houses in Gaza were being used by Hamas as weapons caches, and that if not destroyed, the munitions in them would soon descend on Israel. However, while these houses have become legitimate military targets, the IDF cannot yet bomb them directly. Israel has to collect relevant phone calls before the operation, and then notify the residents of the houses by phone to evacuate before the bombing.

To implement this tactic, Israeli intelligence agencies created lists of phone numbers of home, office and hospital owners throughout the Gaza Strip.

In addition to the telephone notifications, the Israeli military may have fired small missiles beforehand to intimidate civilians who refused to evacuate. This is because after being notified by the Israeli side, there were residents who climbed onto rooftops to try to stop the Israeli military from firing missiles. So the Israeli military first fired missiles with small warheads and limited shrapnel dispersion at unoccupied rooftop corners. With proper control, such small missiles do not cause casualties. When the small missiles explode, those left behind usually choose to flee quickly, allowing the Israeli military to bomb the building.

According to local media reports, once the bombing mission is approved, Arabic-speaking Israeli intelligence officers will call the owners of the targeted buildings and an Israeli drone will hover over the target. Based on the information sent back from the drone, the IDF command center would count the number of people leaving the building and ensure that the number matched the intelligence they had received before signaling the attack to the IAF.

After using the new tactics, the Israeli military saw a steady decline in civilian casualties. in 2002, the ratio of civilian to combatant deaths was 1:1. by early 2009, the ratio had quickly dropped to 1:30.

Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the West and Israel for its frequent terrorist attacks against Israel, which have resulted in a high number of casualties. Several media outlets have previously reported that there is cooperation between Hamas and the Chinese Communist Party, and that the rockets Hamas often uses to attack Israel are “made in China.