Peter Myers Digest: Protestant churches approve Gaza Genocide. Economist denies Gaza genocide

(1) If you fail to call this a genocide. It is on you. It is a sin and a darkness you willingly embrace – Bethlehem pastor
(2) Economist denies Gaza genocide
(3) Protestant churches approve Gaza Genocide because they believe OT genocidal texts are from God
(4) Gaza destruction worse than Aleppo, Mariupol or Dresden

(1) If you fail to call this a genocide. It is on you. It is a sin and a darkness you willingly embrace – Bethlehem pastor

Christ in the Rubble: A Liturgy of Lament

Christ in the Rubble: A Liturgy of Lament

Sermon by Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac
Bethlehem, Dec 23


Christ in the Rubble
A Liturgy of Lament
Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac
Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church
Saturday, December 23rd, 2023

We are angry…

We are broken…

This should have been a time of joy; instead, we are mourning. We are fearful.

20,000 killed. Thousands under the rubble still. Close to 9,000 children killed in the most brutal ways. Day after day after day. 1.9 million displaced! Hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed. Gaza as we know it no longer exists. This is an annihilation. A genocide.

The world is watching; Churches are watching. Gazans are sending live images of their own execution. Maybe the world cares? But it goes on…

We are asking, could this be our fate in Bethlehem? In Ramallah? In Jenin? Is this our destiny too?

We are tormented by the silence of the world. Leaders of the so-called “free” lined up one after the other to give the green light for this genocide against a captive population. They gave the cover. Not only did they make sure to pay the bill in advance, they veiled the truth and context, providing political cover. And, yet another layer has been added: the theological cover with the Western Church stepping into the spotlight.

The South African Church taught us the concept of “The state theology,” defined as “the theological justification of the status quo with its racism, capitalism and totalitarianism.” It does so by misusing theological concepts and biblical texts for its own political purposes.

Here in Palestine, the Bible is weaponized against. Our very own sacred text. In our terminology in Palestine, we speak of the Empire. Here we confront the theology of the Empire. A disguise for superiority, supremacy, “chosenness,” and entitlement. It is sometimes given a nice cover using words like mission and evangelism, fulfillment of prophecy, and spreading freedom and liberty. The theology of the Empire becomes a powerful tool to mask oppression under the cloak of divine sanction. It divides people into “us” and “them.” It dehumanizes and demonizes. It speaks of land without people even when they know the land has people – and not just any people. It calls for emptying Gaza, just like it called the ethnic cleansing in 1948 “a divine miracle.” It calls for us Palestinians to go to Egypt, maybe Jordan, or why not just the sea?

“Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” they said of us. This is the theology of Empire.

This war has confirmed to us that the world does not see us as equal. Maybe it is the color of our skin. Maybe it is because we are on the wrong side of the political equation. Even our kinship in Christ did not shield us. As they said, if it takes killing 100 Palestinians to get a single “Hamas militant” then so be it! We are not humans in their eyes. (But in God’s eyes… no one can tell us we are not!)

The hypocrisy and racism of the Western world is transparent and appalling! They always take the words of Palestinians with suspicion and qualification. No, we are not treated equally. Yet, the other side, despite a clear track record of misinformation, is almost always deemed infallible!

To our European friends. I never ever want to hear you lecture us on Human rights or international law again. We are not white – it does not apply to us according to your own logic.

In this war, the many Christians in the Western world made sure the Empire has the theology needed. It is self-defense, we were told! (And I ask How?)

In the shadow of the Empire, they turned the colonizer into the victim, and the colonized into the aggressor. Have we forgotten that the state was built on the ruins of the towns and villages of those very same Gazans?

We are outraged by the complicity of the church. Let it be clear: Silence is complicity, and empty calls for peace without a ceasefire and end to occupation, and the shallow words of empathy without direct action — are all under the banner of complicity. So here is my message: Gaza today has become the moral compass of the world. Gaza was hell on earth before October 7th.

If you are not appalled by what is happening; if you are not shaken to your core – there is something wrong with your humanity. If we, as Christians, are not outraged by this genocide, by the weaponizing of the Bible to justify it, there is something wrong with our Christian witness, and compromising the credibility of the Gospel!

If you fail to call this a genocide. It is on you. It is a sin and a darkness you willingly embrace.

Some have not even called for a ceasefire…

I feel sorry for you. We will be ok. Despite the immense blow we have endured, we will recover. We will rise and stand up again from the midst of destruction, as we have always done as Palestinians, although this is by far the biggest blow we have received in a long time.

But again, for those who are complicit, I feel sorry for you. Will you ever recover from this?

Your charity, your words of shock AFTER the genocide, won’t make a difference. Words of regret will not suffice for you. We will not accept your apology after the genocide. What has been done, has been done. I want you to look at the mirror… and ask: where was I?

To our friends who are here with us: You have left your families and churches to be with us. You embody the term accompaniment – a costly solidarity. “We were in prison and you visited us.” What a stark difference from the silence and complicity of others. Your presence here is the meaning of solidarity. Your visit has already left an impression that will never be taken from us. Through you, God has spoken to us that “we are not forsaken.” As Father Rami of the Catholic Church said this morning, you have come to Bethlehem, and like the Magi, you brought gifts with, but gifts that are more precious than gold, frankincense, and myrrh. You brought the gift of love and solidarity.

We needed this. For this season, maybe more than anything, we were troubled by the silence of God. In these last two months, the Psalms of lament have become a precious companion. We cried out: My God, My God, we have you forsaken Gaza? Why do you hide your face from Gaza?

In our pain, anguish, and lament, we have searched for God, and found him under the rubble in Gaza. Jesus became the victim of the very same violence of the Empire. He was tortured. Crucified. He bled out as others watched. He was killed and cried out in pain – My God, where are you?

In Gaza today, God is under the rubble.

And in this Christmas season, as we search for Jesus, he is to be found not on the side of Rome, but our side of the wall. In a cave, with a simple family. Vulnerable. Barely, and miraculously surviving a massacre. Among a refugee family. This is where Jesus is found.

If Jesus were to be born today, he would be born under the rubble in Gaza. When we glorify pride and richness, Jesus is under the rubble…

When we rely on power, might, and weapons, Jesus is under the rubble…

When we justify, rationalize, and theologize the bombing of children, Jesus is under the rubble…

Jesus is under the rubble. This is his manger. He is at home with the marginalized, the suffering, the oppressed, and displaced. This is his manger.

I have been looking, contemplating on this iconic image…. God with us, precisely in this way. THIS is the incarnation. Messy. Bloody. Poverty.

This child is our hope and inspiration. We look and see him in every child killed and pulled from under the rubble. While the world continues to reject the children of Gaza, Jesus says: “just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.” “You did to ME.” Jesus not only calls them his own, he is them!

We look at the holy family and see them in every family displaced and wandering, now homeless in despair. While the world discusses the fate of the people of Gaza as if they are unwanted boxes in a garage, God in the Christmas narrative shares in their fate; He walks with them and calls them his own.

This manger is about resilience – ____. The resilience of Jesus is in his meekness; weakness, and vulnerability. The majesty of the incarnation lies in its solidarity with the marginalized. Resilience because this very same child, rose up from the midst of pain, destruction, darkness and death to challenge Empires; to speak truth to power and deliver an everlasting victory over death and darkness.

This is Christmas today in Palestine and this is the Christmas message. It is not about Santa, trees, gifts, lights… etc. My goodness how we twisted the meaning of Christmas. How we have commercialized Christmas. I was in the USA last month, the first Monday after Thanksgiving, and I was amazed by the amount of Christmas decorations and lights, all the and commercial goods. I couldn’t help but think: They send us bombs, while celebrating Christmas in their land. They sing about the prince of peace in their land, while playing the drum of war in our land.

Christmas in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, is this manger. This is our message to the world today. It is a gospel message, a true and authentic Christmas message, about the God who did not stay silent, but said his word, and his Word is Jesus. Born among the occupied and marginalized. He is in solidarity with us in our pain and brokenness.

This manger is our message to the world today – and it is simply this: this genocide must stop NOW. Let us repeat to the world: STOP this Genocide NOW.

This is our call. This is our plea. This is our prayer. Hear oh God. Amen.

(2) Economist denies Gaza genocide

The Economist explains

How the term “genocide” is misused in the Israel-Hamas war
Accusations of the heinous crime abound

Nov 10th 2023

Many governments and citizens are appalled by the civilian casualties from Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza, which is its response to Hamas’s attack on Israel. On October 10th the Palestinian envoy to the un, Riyad Mansour, described Israel’s actions as “nothing less than genocidal”. Iran and Iraq have also accused Israel of genocide. Politically, it is clear why Israel’s enemies should invoke the heinous crime. But the allegation has also been made by countries that have usually been friendly to Israel. Colombia, Honduras and South Africa have all withdrawn their ambassadors from Israel, accusing its government of committing “genocide”.

Protesters and commentators in the West use the term too. “It is now clear that Israel is engaging in a genocide of the Palestinian people,” argued M. Muhannad Ayyash, a professor of sociology at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. Craig Mokhiber, director of the New York office of the un High Commissioner for Human Rights, wrote on October 28th that “This is a text-book case of genocide.” Israel has both denied genocide and accused Hamas of the crime. Gilad Erdan, Israel’s permanent representative to the un, said on October 26th that “This is not a war with the Palestinians. Israel is at war with the genocidal Hamas terrorist organisation.” What exactly is genocide, and how, if at all, is the term applicable to the current conflict?

In December 1948, in the aftermath of the second world war, the un adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The convention defines a genocide as acts intended “to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”. Contrary to the common understanding of the term, the un says not only killing counts. “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction” does too, as does inflicting “serious bodily or mental harm”, “measures intended to prevent births”, and “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”. Categorising atrocities as genocide has legal implications. The International Criminal Court is able to indict someone for the crime, for example.

Interpretations of the convention differ because it is so broadly framed. So which atrocities constitute genocide? The systematic murder of 6m Jews by the Nazis was genocide. The organised butchery of perhaps 500,000 ethnic Tutsis by Hutu militias in Rwanda in 1994 was too. In both cases the intent, to destroy a people, was clear. Yet the case of Darfur, in Sudan, where about 300,000 people died in the years after fighting broke out there in 2003, is less clear. America called this a genocide. But in 2005 a un commission concluded that Sudan’s government had “not pursued a policy of genocide” (although some individuals may have acted with “genocidal intent”). Donald Trump’s administration called the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang a genocide but others disagreed. This newspaper concluded that China’s persecution of the Uyghurs was “horrific”, but not genocidal.

By the un definition, Hamas is a genocidal organisation. Its founding charter, published in 1988, explicitly commits it to obliterating Israel. Article 7 states that “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them”. Article 13 rejects any compromise, or peace, until Israel is destroyed. Hamas fighters who burst into Israel on October 7th and killed more than 1,400 Israelis (and other nationalities) were carrying out the letter of their genocidal law.

Israel, by contrast, does not meet the test of genocide. There is little evidence that Israel, like Hamas, “intends” to destroy an ethnic group—the Palestinians. Israel does want to destroy Hamas, a militant group, and is prepared to kill civilians in doing so. And while some Israeli extremists might want to eradicate the Palestinians, that is not a government policy.

Neither do the Israelis display any obvious intent to prevent Palestinian births. But those who accuse it of genocide point to the large number of civilians killed, at least 10,000 so far, and claim its blockade of the strip meets the “conditions-of-life” criterion. The Israelis have clearly inflicted “serious bodily or mental harm” on the Palestinians. They have also displaced people from the north of the strip. If those people are not allowed to return, this could be considered a partial destruction of their territory or, as Jan Egeland, a former un head of humanitarian and relief efforts, has warned, a forcible population transfer.

Even if an army’s actions do not pass the threshold of genocide, they can still be wrong. As the un concluded during its report into Darfur, “crimes against humanity and war crimes that have been committed…may be no less serious and heinous than genocide”.

(3) Protestant churches approve Gaza Genocide because they believe OT genocidal texts are from God

(3) Protestant churches approve Gaza Genocide because they believe OT genocidal texts are from God

For American Evangelicals Who Back Israel, ‘Neutrality Isn’t an Option’
Conservative Christians’ strong connection to Israel forms the backbone of Republican support, and is tied to beliefs about biblical promises and prophecy.

By Ruth Graham and Anna Betts

Ruth Graham reported from Arlington, Texas. Anna Betts reported from New York.

Published Oct. 15, 2023
Updated Oct. 18, 2023

Pastor Jared Wellman took the stage Sunday morning at Tate Springs Baptist Church, 7,000 miles west of Jerusalem, to talk to his congregation about Israel.

“Neutrality isn’t an option,” Mr. Wellman told the crowd, to murmurs of “Amen.” He traced the history of aggression and oppression against the Jewish people through ancient Egypt into the Roman Empire and then from Nazi Germany to the attacks on civilians last weekend by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, which he described as “acts conceived in the darkest pits of hell.”

American evangelicals are among Israel’s most ardent advocates, compelled in part by their interpretation of scripture that says God’s ancient promise to the Jewish people designating the region as their homeland is unbreakable. Some evangelicals also see Israel’s existence connected to biblical prophecy about the last days of the world before a divine theocratic kingdom can be established on earth.

Now, one week after at least 1,300 people in Israel were killed in Hamas attacks, and as the number of dead in Gaza soared past 2,400 in Israeli airstrikes, evangelical leaders across the United States are voicing that support in sermons, public statements and calls to action.

“There’s probably no greater friend to the state of Israel than American evangelical Christians,” said Daniel Darling, director of Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

Conservative evangelicals have long formed the backbone of the Republican Party’s support of Israel. (Evangelicals cheered when President Donald J. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, announcing that he would move the United States Embassy there.)

That support is not just abstractly political. American Christians flock to Israel as pilgrims, sometimes on trips sponsored by churches like Tate Springs, or led by guides who specialize in Christian history. Some tourists memorialize their trips with tattoos or get baptized in the Jordan River, where Jesus is said to have been baptized by John the Baptist.

At Tate Springs on Sunday, Mr. Wellman, after pointing to a new page on the church website directing prayers and donations to Israel, led the congregation in prayer: for peace, for justice and for “innocent people in Gaza, in the West Bank and in Israel.”

In a pew toward the back of the church, Brandy and Brian Johnson welcomed the message. But their minds were also on more practical concerns: Just last week, they paid more than $10,000 for a “bucket list” trip to Israel sponsored by the church and scheduled for January, which is now unlikely to take place. Mrs. Johnson had been looking forward to walking through historical sites there, “just to know that it’s his land,” she said, referring to Jesus.

At Sunnyside Baptist Church in Kingsport, Tenn., on Sunday, the congregation cheered the return of a tour group of about 50 people from the church who had gotten stuck in Jerusalem for several days after the attacks.

“This has been a week unlike any week that I have ever experienced,” the church’s associate pastor, David Luster, said from the stage, noting that he had been praying constantly for the travelers and for Israel.

Many evangelical pastors condemned the assaults by Hamas and urged their congregations to pray for a country to which many of them feel intense spiritual, cultural and political connections.

Others took a more apocalyptic tone.

At Radiant Church, which has several locations in southwest Michigan, the pastor, Lee Cummings, preached a sermon about the escalating war between Israel and Hamas, describing the Jewish people’s right to the land as an inheritance from God.

Peace between the Palestinian and Israeli people is not possible right now because of Hamas, he said, speaking ominously about future violence. “When they’re done with the Jews, they’re coming for Christians,” he warned. “Prepare your hearts for the rising storm because this isn’t calming down.”

An “Evangelical Statement in Support of Israel” was signed by about 90 pastors and other leaders last week, including the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Bart Barber, and the editor in chief of Christianity Today, Russell Moore.

The statement condemned the attacks by Hamas and affirmed “Israel’s right and duty to defend itself against further attack,” citing Christian just-war tradition and a passage from the New Testament book of Romans on governmental authorities as agents of God’s justice.

The intensity of American evangelical attachment to the state of Israel is impossible to disentangle from popular beliefs about the role of the state of Israel in the end times. Books like “The Late Great Planet Earth,” an overheated tour of apocalyptic predictions published in 1970, and the “Left Behind” series of novels reinforced the appeal for many evangelicals of interpreting contemporary global events as the culminations of prophecies recorded in the Bible.

In Plano, Texas, the pastor at Prestonwood Baptist Church, Jack Graham, who advised Mr. Trump when he was in office,

evoked the specter of the end times. “The last days are coming and are here, when you will come again, for your church and for your people,” he prayed.

More than 60 percent of American evangelicals believe humanity is living in the end times, according to a survey last year by the Pew Research Center. (For comparison, 39 percent of American adults overall shared that belief.)

And many evangelicals see Israel as a key setting for those events. Four out of five American evangelicals say that the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948 and the return there of millions of Jewish people were fulfillments of biblical prophecy, according to a survey conducted in 2017. Almost half of respondents said the Bible is the primary influence of their opinions on Israel.

The survey was conducted by LifeWay Research, which is associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, and it was co-sponsored by an organization that evangelizes to Jewish people.

Joel C. Rosenberg, the survey’s other co-sponsor, was born in the United States but has lived in Israel for almost a decade. He hosts “The Rosenberg Report,” a show broadcast on the conservative evangelical Trinity Broadcasting Network that offers a “biblical perspective” on Middle East news, often with an eye to how news events line up with biblical prophecies.

In an interview, he described American evangelicals’ support for the country as primarily theological, not political.

“God has laid out his love and his special plan for Israel and the Jewish people, starting in Genesis 12 and going right through to the book of Revelation,” he said.

Other Christian groups have taken a more circumspect approach, condemning violence against all civilians and stopping short of outright support for either side of the conflict. Many evangelical leaders, while firm in their support of Israel, acknowledged the Palestinian Christian population and prayed for them, and emphasized that not all Palestinians are responsible for the actions of Hamas. Though the Palestinian population is largely Muslim, a segment of the population is Christian and has long been part of Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions.

But the grip of apocalyptic prophecies on the evangelical imagination is declining in some corners. At least one Protestant denomination has removed assertions about the end times from their statements of core beliefs in recent years. And younger evangelicals are distinctly less likely to view news events in Israel through the lens of biblical prophecy. Like their generational peers, they are less likely to support Israel overall.

Mr. Wellman, the pastor at Tate Springs Baptist Church, who is 40, once endorsed a theological framework that sees contemporary events in Israel as ushering in the end times. But a few years ago, he began to rethink that piece of his theology. These days, he said, “it’s really hard to find people my age in my circles” who interpret every event in the Middle East as correlating with specific biblical prophecies.

His message at Tate Springs on Sunday asked his congregation to think about the situation historically, rather than purely “eschatologically or prophetically.”

But the shift in his theology hasn’t changed his affections, he said. As a pastor, “you give your whole life to studying a small piece of real estate about the size of New Jersey,” he said. “I love this nation and these people.”

Ruth Graham is a Dallas-based national correspondent covering religion, faith and values. She previously reported on religion for Slate. More about Ruth Graham

Anna Betts reports on national events, including politics, education, and

(4) Gaza destruction worse than Aleppo, Mariupol or Dresden

Israel’s military campaign in Gaza seen as among the most destructive in recent history, experts say


Updated 8:20 PM GMT+10, December 22, 2023

JERUSALEM (AP) — The <> Israeli military campaign in Gaza, experts say, now sits among the deadliest and most destructive in recent history.

In just over two months, the offensive has wreaked more destruction than <> the razing of Syria’s Aleppo between 2012 and 2016, <> Ukraine’s Mariupol or, proportionally, the Allied bombing of Germany in World War II. It has killed more civilians than the U.S.-led coalition did in its three-year campaign against <> the Islamic State group.

The Israeli military has said little about what kinds of bombs and artillery it is using in Gaza. But from blast fragments found on-site and analyses of strike footage, experts are confident that the vast majority of bombs dropped on the besieged enclave are U.S.-made. They say the weapons include 2,000-pound (900-kilogram) “bunker-busters” that have killed hundreds in densely populated areas.

With the Palestinian death toll in Gaza <> surpassing 20,000, the international community is calling for a cease-fire. Israel vows to press ahead, saying it wants to destroy Hamas’ military capabilities following the militant group’s <> Oct. 7 cross-border rampage that triggered the war, in which it killed 1,200 people and took 240 others hostage.

The Biden administration has quietly continued to supply arms to Israel. Last week, however, President Joe Biden publicly acknowledged that Israel was losing international legitimacy for what he called its <> “indiscriminate bombing.”

Here’s a look at what is known so far about Israel’s campaign on Gaza.



Israel’s offensive has destroyed over two-thirds of all structures in northern Gaza and a quarter of buildings in the southern area of Khan Younis, according to an analysis of Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite data by Corey Scher of the CUNY Graduate Center and Jamon Van Den Hoek of Oregon State University, experts in mapping damage during wartime.

The percentage of damaged buildings in the Khan Younis area nearly doubled in just the first two weeks of Israel’s southern offensive, they said.

That includes tens of thousands of homes as well as schools, hospitals, mosques and stores. U.N. monitors have said that about 70% of school buildings across Gaza have been damaged. At least 56 damaged schools served as shelters for displaced civilians. Israeli strikes damaged 110 mosques and three churches, the monitors said.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for civilian deaths by embedding militants in civilian infrastructure. Those sites also shelter multitudes of Palestinians who have fled under Israeli evacuation orders.

“Gaza is now a different color from space. It’s a different texture,” said Scher, who has worked with Van Den Hoek to map destruction across several war zones, from Aleppo to Mariupol.


By some measures, destruction in Gaza has outpaced Allied bombings of Germany during World War II.

Between 1942 and 1945, the allies attacked 51 major German cities and towns, destroying about 40-50% of their urban areas, said Robert Pape, a U.S. military historian. Pape said this amounted to 10% of buildings across Germany, compared to over 33% across Gaza, a densely populated territory of just 140 square miles (360 square kilometers).

“Gaza is one of the most intense civilian punishment campaigns in history,” said Pape. “It now sits comfortably in the top quartile of the most devastating bombing campaigns ever.”

The U.S.-led coalition’s 2017 assault to expel the Islamic State group from the Iraqi city of Mosul was considered one of the most intense attacks on a city in generations. That <> nine-month battle killed around 10,000 civilians, a third of them from coalition bombardment, <> according an Associated Press investigation at the time.

During the 2014-2017 campaign to defeat IS in Iraq, the coalition carried out nearly 15,000 strikes across the country, according to Airwars, a London-based independent group that tracks recent conflicts. By comparison, the Israeli military said last week it has conducted 22,000 strikes in Gaza.


The Israeli military has not specified what it is using. It says every strike is cleared by legal advisers to make sure it complies with international law.

“We choose the right munition for each target — so it doesn’t cause unnecessary damage,” said the army’s chief spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari.

Weapons experts have been able to draw conclusions by analyzing blast fragments found on-site, satellite images and videos circulated on social media. They say the findings offer only a peek into the full scope of the air war.

So far, fragments of American-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) bombs and smaller diameter bombs have been found in Gaza, according to Brian Castner, a weapons investigator with Amnesty International.

The JDAM bombs include precision-guided 1,000- and 2,000-pound (450-kilogram and 900-kilogram) “bunker-busters.”

“It turns earth to liquid,” said Marc Garlasco, a former Pentagon defense official and a war crimes investigator for the U.N. “It pancakes entire buildings.”

He said the explosion of a 2,000-pound bomb in the open means “instant death” for anyone within about 30 meters (100 feet). Lethal fragmentation can extend for up to 365 meters (1,200 feet).

In an Oct. 31 strike on the urban refugee camp of <> Jabaliya, experts say a 2,000-pound bomb killed over 100 civilians.

Experts have also identified fragments of SPICE (Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective) 2000-pound bombs, which are fitted with a GPS guidance system to make targeting more precise. Castner said the bombs are produced by the Israeli defense giant Rafael, but a recent State Department release first obtained by <> The New York Times showed some of the technology had been produced in the United States.

The Israeli military is also dropping unguided “dumb” bombs. Several experts pointed to two photos posted to social media by the Israeli Air Force at the start of the war showing fighter jets stocked with unguided bombs.


Israel says it has two goals: destroy Hamas and rescue the 129 hostages still held by militants.

Eleven weeks into the war, Israel says it has destroyed many Hamas sites and hundreds of tunnel shafts and has killed 7,000 Hamas fighters out of an estimated 30,000-40,000. Israeli leaders say intense military pressure is the only way to free more hostages.

But some families of hostages worry that the bombing endangers their loved ones. Hostages released during a weeklong cease-fire last month recounted that their captors moved them from place to place to avoid Israeli bombardment. Hamas has claimed that several hostages died from Israeli bombs, though the claims could not be verified.

The level of destruction is so high because “Hamas is very entrenched within the civilian population,” said Efraim Inbar, head of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, a think tank. He also said intense bombardment of Hamas’ tunnels is needed to protect advancing Israeli ground forces from attacks.