Israeli military briefing provides unprecedented insight into Operation Protective Edge battlefield tactics


A range of outlets and analysts are working to unpack newly revealed evidence - first released by the Israeli military during a Wednesday briefing held at its Tel Aviv headquarters - documenting Israeli and Hamas tactics during the recent 50-day hot conflict fought in the Gaza Strip. Reuters led its coverage of the army's extensive slide show by focusing on "photographs indicating that militants stored and fired rockets from schools," a deployment of civilian infrastructure that had already engulfed UNRWA, the United Nations organization responsible for those schools. The wire also described "photographs showing how rocket launchers were hidden in graveyards and a school playground," including one set that showed "a [school] canopy, where a hole had been torn for a rocket launching, was further frayed after a projectile was fired from underneath." The Daily Mail more broadly described Israeli intelligence about the force structure of Gaza terror groups, with Hamas fielding "at least 16,000 operatives organised into six brigades across the Gaza Strip, each with its own commander, while [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] has a similar structure and a total of around 6,000 operatives." Hamas's use of human shields over the course of several previous conflicts had long ago driven innovations in Israeli battlefield techniques. Previous engagements had already seen the Israelis deploying unique technology, enabling unprecedented battlefield awareness, allowing them to warn individual Gazans of impending attacks and minimize civilian casualties. The Washington Post conveyed current Israeli assessments, also revealed at the Wednesday press briefing, evaluating that at least 616 of the estimated 2,127 Palestinian casualties are known with "100 percent certainty" to have been combatants. A senior defense official emphasized that Jerusalem eventually expects to confirm that there was a "one to one" civilian-to-casualty ratio. If that estimate holds it will be taken as confirmation of nearly unparalleled Israeli precision targeting. Col. (res.) Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, testified in front of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday that the global average in similar conflicts is closer to a 4-to-1 civilian-to-combatant ratio. Kemp categorically declared that "no army in the world acts with as much discretion and great care as the IDF in order to minimize damage" and that "the US and the UK are careful, but not as much as Israel."


An Israeli graduate student devises anti-slime coating for boxes used to transport fruits and vegetables to market. Who knew that slime could be such a pest? Also known as biofilm, that slimy bacteria that builds up on food and in the kitchen makes millions of people sick every year. And not just in developing countries with poor sanitation. Slime is the root cause of many bacterial infections that won’t go away. But an American immigrant to Israel thinks he’s got a solution — already patented and being developed into a product to ensure that fruits and vegetables will be safer to consume by the time they reach your table. Using a molecule that was created at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, graduate student Michael Brandwein devised a slime-resistant coating that can interfere with, or stop, the genetic processes in bacteria that cause slime build-up. Working under Prof. Doron Steinberg from the Biofilm Research Laboratory of the Hebrew University’s Dental Faculty, Brandwein was awarded a Kaye Innovation Award during the 77th annual meeting of the Hebrew University Board of Governors last June for his team’s ability to decrease slime buildup by about 60 percent on plastic and glass surfaces, and by about 95% on cardboard. “We discovered that cardboard boxes are really healthy for bacteria,” he jokes, noting that the addition of a polymer coating even without TZD decreases bacterial formation. Together with TZD, the rates are astonishing. Michael Brandwein, left, and his mentor Prof. Doron Steinberg from the Hebrew University’s Biofilm Research Laboratory. Michael Brandwein, left, and his mentor Prof. Doron Steinberg from the Hebrew University’s Biofilm Research Laboratory. The TZD-and-polymer liquid made in the Hebrew University lab will be sold for $2 to $3 dollars per liter, and it can be applied in a very thin layer onto the surface of the cardboard, Brandwein tells ISRAEL21c. In the future, he envisions it will be used on meat and poultry packaging, and even possibly to coat the outside hulls of a ship to reduce resistance due to slime buildup at sea. (via Israel21c)

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