IDF Phones Gaza Residents to Warn Them of Imminent Strikes

Palestinians say IDF leaves voicemail messages warning that houses storing weapons will be hit.

The Israel Defense Forces has unveiled a new tactic meant to reduce civilian casualties, calling houses before they are to be targeted in order to give inhabitants time to flee the attack.

Palestinians reported that in some cases, the caller leaves a message on their voice mail warning that the IDF will bomb any house where weapons are rockets are found and the owners of the houses will be the ones to suffer the consequences.

The IDF has also used a sound bomb to warn civilians before striking homes.

The IDF has also used what they are calling "roof knocking" operations, in which they inform the residents of suspected buildings that they have 10 minutes to leave the premises. In some cases, residents of suspected houses have been able to prevent bombing by climbing up to the roof to show that they will not leave, prompting IDF commanders to call off the strike. In these cases, Channel 10 reported Thursday, the IAF sometimes launches a relatively harmless missile at the corner of the roof, avoiding casualties but successfully dispersing the crowd.

It appears that the "roof knocking" technique was used in the assassination of Hamas leader Nizar Ghayan Thursday, but Ghayan decided to stay indoors with his family, and the army opted to bomb the house anyway.

Sources familiar with Ghayan's record said he was one of the people who encouraged Gazans to climb on rooftops to prevent bombings.

During the Second Lebanon War, the Israel Air Force dropped pamphlets from the sky and called residents of several Lebanese towns to tell them they were about to begin bombing the area south of the Latani River and they should evacuate the area for their own safety.