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‘Dumb bombs’: Israeli regime's use of unguided bombs in its Gaza onslaught

By Wesam Bahrani

American news outlets have cited US intel officials as saying that almost half the bombs used by the Israeli regime in its war on the besieged Gaza Strip have been unguided "dumb" bombs. 

These bombs, such as the M117, first entered service in the 1950s and are exactly the same unguided M117 bombs seen in photos published by the Israeli military that regime warplanes have extensively dropped on Gaza since the events of October 7. 

It is, however, unclear how many tons of explosives the Israeli military is injecting into these bombs. What is particularly alarming is that the regime has made no secret of its use of the munitions.

These unguided bombs have killed about 20,000 Palestinians and injured more than 50,000 others, the majority of them women and children, and the majority of them have been left without limbs. 

Many thousands more are missing and believed to be trapped under the rubble, possibly dead.  

One of the objectives, experts believe, of using unguided bombs is to turn the civilian population of Gaza against the Hamas resistance movement‌, by indiscriminately reducing their homes to rubble on a mass scale alongside its death and destruction campaign targeting densely-populated residential areas. 

Many Western powers, in particular the United States, have used similar tactics, such as imposing sanctions on a civilian population in a failed attempt to turn the people against their government. 

During the 2006 July war the Israeli regime waged on Lebanon, it failed to destroy the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement as its stated mission but rather destroyed Lebanon in another botched attempt to turn the Lebanese nation against Hezbollah. 

The occupying regime is trying to do the same in Gaza with unguided bombs that cause significant damage and result in a series of massacres.

Pertinently, these 'dumb bombs' were widely used during the Second World War and have now largely been substituted by precision-guided munitions.

In one of its latest statements, the Palestinian health ministry said one Israeli strike on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza killed at least 90 people.

But this mission has also failed as proven in a recent poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, which is funded by the European Union and found that support for Hamas has risen during the Israeli war on Gaza.

The weapons lack any internal guidance systems or kits to improve their aim and generally follow the trajectory at which they are dropped. 

What they are doing on the ground in Gaza is causing significant death and destruction in the territory. 

CNN was the first broadcaster to break the story, citing three sources with knowledge of the latest US intelligence assessment as saying that up to 45 percent of the 29,000 air-to-ground weapons used during the ongoing Zionist aggression on Gaza have been unguided.

It means that the Israeli military has used upwards of more than 13,000 so-called "dumb" bombs in its devastating airstrikes on the coastal territory, turning it into a virtual graveyard.   

Reports say the rate at which the regime is using these bombs, which are nowhere close to being precise, is contributing heavily to the soaring civilian death toll in Gaza. 

Unguided bombs are more than likely to fall wide of their target and pose a significant threat to the civilian population, especially the vulnerable lot. 

Indiscriminate bombing is in violation of the Geneva Conventions and is widely regarded as a war crime. Experts have called it pure terrorism. 

Publicly the US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the Israeli regime is "doing everything they can to reduce civilian casualties."

This is while the US has itself been providing the regime with unguided munitions, including 5,000 Mk82 bombs, a source familiar with recent weapons transfers from the US to the Israeli regime told CNN. 

The revelation has raised concern among humanitarian groups and others amid growing calls inside and outside the US for the White House to impose conditions on any further military aid to the occupying regime. 

Despite the disturbing news, the administration of Joe Biden has rejected such calls, fearing a backlash from powerful and influential Zionist lobbying groups in Washington. 

Under international law, weapons are considered indiscriminate if they are not directed at military targets and instead target civilian sites. That’s what has been happening in Gaza.

With the Gaza Strip being a tiny territory that is home to 2.3 million people, and just 360 square kilometers in size, the Israeli military has been found using large and sophisticated weapons.

The news adds further weight that the Israeli regime’s aim in this war on Gaza is to deliberately kill the civilian population of Gaza and starve the rest to death.

If the regime was going after Hamas, why would half of the munitions it has dropped on Gaza be unguided, indiscriminate bombs that date back to wars waged in the early 1950s? 

It is a well-known fact that the Israeli military has, in its possession, precision-guided missiles and smart bombs provided by the United States.

Why has it not at least used precision weapons to target the Palestinian resistance factions (as is its publicly stated mission)? 

Even some of the precision weapons, due to the size of the bomb, some of which are nearly 1,000 tons, can cause serious damage beyond the intended target.

This is while the regime boasts of having the best intelligence on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. 

The Israel war cabinet has vowed to keep attacking Gaza until it crushes Hamas after one of the deadliest ground offensives of the war for its soldiers, even as it faces mounting international condemnation and calls for a ceasefire. 

Experts believe the reality is that the Israeli military has no chance of crushing Hamas and that its war on the Gaza Strip has already failed. The longer it pounds Gaza and operates in the territory, the higher the Palestinian civilian death toll will be, and more Israeli soldiers will perish. 

Calls are also mounting for Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet to be held accountable before an international tribunal for war crimes the regime is committing in the blockaded Gaza Strip. 

Wesam Bahrani is an Iraqi journalist and commentator.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

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