On 19–20 July 2014, elements of the elite Golani, Givati, and paratrooper brigades launched an assault along three axes into the Shuja‘iya district of #Gaza City on the eastern side of the city center. The Golani brigade in particular met fierce and unexpected #resistance that resulted in thirteen Israeli soldiers being killed and perhaps a hundred wounded. According to American military sources, over a period of twenty-four hours during this operation, eleven Israeli artillery battalions, employing at least 258 of these artillery pieces, fired over seven thousand shells into this single neighborhood. This included forty-eight hundred shells during one seven-hour period: nearly seven hundred shells an hour, or over eleven per minute. A senior Pentagon official “with access to the daily briefings” called this amount of firepower “massive” and “deadly.” He described this “huge” amount of firepower as that which would normally be used by the U.S. Army in support of two entire divisions comprising forty thousand troops. Another, a former American artillery commander, estimated that the U.S. military would employ that number of guns only in support of an army corps of several divisions. A retired American lieutenant general described the bombing frenzy as “absolutely disproportionate.”4 It bears repeating that this enormous amount of firepower was used in the span of about twenty-four hours for an artillery bombardment of just one Gaza neighborhood that was simultaneously being pounded by massive air strikes.
Random occurrences cannot explain such devastation, nor can this honestly be called regrettable “collateral damage.” To believe that is to willfully suspend belief and to ignore the nature of the weapons used—and, equally important, it is to ignore Israel’s established military doctrine. The wholesale killing and mangling of over thirteen thousand people, most of them defenseless civilians, and the wanton destruction of the homes and property of hundreds of thousands of people, are in fact fully intentional. They are the fruits of a sinister strategy implemented by the Israeli military at least since the 2006 assault on Lebanon, which goes by the name “Dahiya doctrine.” (...) After an entire southern suburb of Beirut, known as the Dahiya, had been devastated from the air by troops under his command using two-thousand-pound bombs and other similar ordnance, #Eizenkot explicitly laid out what this doctrine entailed in 2008. He stated: “What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. . . . We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases . . . . This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved.”6
Not only was the strategy precisely the one Israel used in Lebanon in 2006, it is the very same that has now been deployed against Gaza for the third time in the past six years. (...) Not surprisingly, one found little mention of the Dahiya doctrine whether in statements by U.S. politicians, or in the reporting of the war by most of the mainstream American media, which dwelt on the description of Israel’s actions as “self-defense.”