Middle East

Over 2,900 acres in Rafah affected by bulldozing or destroyed during IDF ground operation, CNN analysis shows

From CNN’s Paul Murphy, Ibrahim Dahman and Mick Krever

More than 2,900 acres — or almost 12 square kilometers — of southern Gaza has been affected by bulldozing or has experienced significant destruction by military strikes since the start of the Israel Defense Forces ground operation in Rafah, a CNN analysis of satellite imagery has revealed.

By comparing recent and archival satellite imagery from Planet Labs, CNN was able to identify the areas in southern Gaza that have been bulldozed or experienced significant building destruction since the start of the Rafah ground operation on May 6.

Bulldozing began around the Egypt-Gaza border crossing at Rafah shortly after the start of the operation, but now stretches the entire length of the border — known as the Philadelphi corridor — and deep into eastern and central Rafah.

That corridor has been a clear focus of the IDFs bulldozing operation, as now nearly every building within 500 feet of the entire border has been razed by bulldozers. It’s unclear from the satellite images whether or not the IDF, through its bulldozing operations, is preparing the ground for a permanent presence on the border.

The IDF has repeatedly claimed that it found evidence of smuggling tunnels from Gaza into Egypt along the border.

What Israel is saying: When asked about the analysis, the IDF did not confirm the total area affected but said its actions were based on “military necessity” and they are “needed in order to implement a defense plan that will provide improved security in Southern Israel.”

Bulldozing is also occurring away from the border area. As the satellite imagery shows that since early May, large swaths of eastern and central Rafah – in some instances entire city blocks — have been completely razed or significantly destroyed.

Related Articles

Back to top button