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Israel Has Damaged or Destroyed More Than Half of Gaza’s Infrastructure

Israel has likely destroyed or damaged more than 137,000 structures in Gaza, according to a United Nations report.

Palestinians examine destroyed and damaged buildings in the east of Rafah, Gaza, on April 20, 2024.

Harrowing new satellite imagery provided by the United Nations (U.N.) showcases the extent to which Israeli forces have targeted and destroyed vital civilian infrastructure in Gaza throughout their genocidal war on Palestinians.

While there is no greater cost of genocide than the number of lives lost, the analysis of infrastructure damage provides yet another indicator of Israel’s drive to destroy all aspects of Palestinian society. The imagery from the U.N. Satellite Center (UNOSAT) shows that Israeli attacks have affected more than half of Gaza’s infrastructure.

According to the analysis from UNOSAT, Israel’s bombing campaign has completely destroyed 36,591 structures, severely damaged 16,513 structures, and moderately damaged another 47,368 structures. An additional 36,825 buildings have been identified as possibly damaged.

In all, Israel has damaged or completely destroyed 137,297 structures, per the agency’s report, accounting for 55 percent of all structures in Gaza.

According to UNOSAT’s analysis, Israel’s attacks have likely damaged or destroyed more than 135,000 housing units.

The assessment only includes an examination of infrastructure up to May 3. By now, the total number of destroyed buildings is likely higher, particularly in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where Israel has orchestrated numerous rocket attacks and launched a ground invasion in recent weeks.

Israeli forces have intentionally bombed hundreds of health care facilities and hospitals since October; currently, no hospitals in Gaza are operating at full capacity, even as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are in desperate need of medical care. These strikes have killed at least 723 health care workers, according to a World Health Organization report published in May.

Israel’s attacks have also targeted educational centers, destroying all 12 of Gaza’s colleges and universities. In total, Israel has severely damaged or destroyed 80 percent of schools in Gaza, conducting 212 “direct hits” on at least 53 of them, according to the U.N.

A separate investigation by Al Jazeera’s Sanad Verification Agency finds that Israel has “systematically demolish[ed] neighborhoods” on the borders of Gaza in order to create an expansive “buffer zone,” including creating a “central axis” dividing line known as the Nezarim axis, dividing Gaza in two. The areas within these zones have been made “uninhabitable,” according to the report, with destruction rates in these zones reaching 80-90 percent.

The buffer zones effectively push Gaza’s boundaries inward by around 1.5 to 3.1 miles, with the Nezarim axis being about 1 mile wide. The zones have been “completely bulldozed and demolished” by Israel, the report from Sanad states.

Israeli officials claim their deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure is part of their effort to disarm Hamas, but the government “has given little indication or verifiable evidence that their efforts are having any strategic impact,” according to reporting by Al Jazeera. Meanwhile, Palestinian advocates have said that Israel’s bombing of schools, hospitals, apartment buildings and all life-sustaining systems in Gaza is actually an attempt to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Gaza by making the area completely uninhabitable — a plan that Israeli officials themselves have confirmed.

Israel’s bloody siege of Gaza has displaced 1.9 million Palestinians since October 7, a number about 2.7 times greater than the 700,000 who were displaced by Zionist troops during the 1948 Nakba. In total, 85 percent of the population of Gaza has been displaced, with many families displaced numerous times and half of Gaza’s population displaced in this month alone.

Israel’s genocide has killed nearly 37,000 Palestinians over the past eight months, including more than 15,000 children. More than 82,000 people have been reported injured due to Israeli attacks, with another 10,000 missing and presumed to be buried under the rubble of buildings Israel has destroyed.

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