Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
Smoke rises from buildings in Gaza, January 31, 2024.

In the last two months, according to eyewitnesses, IDF fighters have been setting fire to hundreds of terrorist structures in the Gaza Strip, Ynet reported Thursday. It started as a local initiative of soldiers in the field, apparently in the neighborhood of Shuja’iyya in, the northern Strip, and the phenomenon spread to other sectors as well. The reason, according to the report, had nothing to do with looking to avenge the Hamas atrocities of October 7, 2023, when hundreds of homes in the Gaza envelope settlements were set on fire by marauding terrorists – there were simply way more buildings with suspicious terrorist activity inside than the IDF units had explosives for.

In the end, the IDF brass issued a prohibition to set Hamas homes on fire “Because we are not like the terrorists.”


Here’s a question: why is blowing up thousands of buildings in Gaza a moral endeavor, while setting them on fire isn’t? I’m just asking.

As far as the soldiers paying attention to the inherently confused prohibition, the record is sketchy. In some units, the commanding officers outlawed the whole thing; in others, one officer told Ynet: “We do this toward the end of the day so that the smoke plumes can be seen from afar in the Gaza Strip and deter the Gazan population.”

The same officer insisted that “these are 100% verified terrorists’ homes, and every such house we photograph, including the weapons we find inside or the terrorists we killed.” He added: “When we say that in every house we meet an enemy, it is not a cliché.”

The reader must remember that one day a year, every Israeli boy and girl gets to release their inner arsonist – on Lag B’Omer, when bonfires dot the entire country, burning wood that was acquired in all kinds of ways. That training has paid off: in Gaza, the soldiers maximize the damage by pulling all the furniture to the center of the house before throwing the match.

It should be noted that the IDF has so far used hundreds of tons of engineering explosives of various types to blow up terrorist structures and destroy Hamas underground tunnels and bases, most of which are of enormous sizes the IDF had never tackled before.

Because of the never-ending need for new explosives, the IDF has been procuring tens of thousands of charges and mines.

Another area that requires blowing up “Palestinian” homes is the buffer zone along the Gaza border, which is being expanded for the protection of nearby Jewish settlements.

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David writes news at