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Tracking airstrikes: Inside the Israel-Hamas war

More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the conflict, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Tracking airstrikes: Inside the Israel-Hamas war
Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 28, 2024

Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, there have been over 300 verified incidents that Scripps News has tracked coordinates for where civilians were killed in airstrikes in Gaza.

The airstrikes are being tracked by a group called Airwars, a nonprofit transparency watchdog based in the United Kingdom that tracks, assesses and archives cases of civilian harm during conflicts. It draws on everything from news reports to Facebook and YouTube to verify its reports.

Airwars said those 300-plus incidents are just the first confirmations of what are likely many more deaths. So far, it's only investigated about 10% of the reports it's received.

"So if you're just talking about intensity in terms of volume, what we've seen in Gaza within that first month was already multiple times over more intense than what we've seen in other places," said Airwars director Emily Tripp.

Tripp said Israel's air campaign is one of the most intense campaigns Airwars has covered.

"No matter what metric of civilian harm you want to use, this is worse. This is a conflict where we've had, I think, multiple times over cases with the highest number of child fatalities. And we've been documenting for 10 years."

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More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the conflict, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. As the death toll continues to rise, Israel's been under increasing criticism over its operations in Gaza, most notably its plans to conduct an invasion of Rafah, which it says is the final stronghold of Hamas.

Just this week, the U.S. allowed a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza to pass in a United Nations Security Council vote. Despite abstaining on the vote, the U.S. is still one of Israel's biggest arms suppliers.

In December, Airwars and a host of other human rights groups sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urging him to withhold arms transfers to Israel.

"Supply of weapons is the greatest leverage that the U.S. can have when it comes to looking to influence the way that the IDF behaves," Tripp said.

Of course, the United States isn't conducting strikes in Gaza. Though it's closest ally in the region, Israel, is--as can be seen in this airstrike footage released by the Israel Defense Forces. That's something groups like Airwars argue should be taken into account when providing arms.

"What message does it send if you're sending these weapons?" Tripp asked. "And what message does that send to the civilians on the ground who have been killed?"

The U.S. State Department has recently said Israel is not in violation of international humanitarian law when it comes to use of U.S.-provided weapons or providing aid.

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