“Roof Knocking” – Israel’s missile warning system

In a bid to minimize “collateral damage” Israel has taken steps to address international outrage over the increasing number of civilian deaths caused by bombing. Their answer is a new type of alert system called “roof knocking” – a system that has itself come under fire.

Dubbed the “roof-knocking” technique - the Israel Defense Force practice of firing missiles at civilian homes as a warning to residents of a larger impending big attack has been met with criticism.

Amnesty International has slammed the use of “roof knocking,” saying it in no way constitutes an “effective warning.” The organization has also called for an embargo on all Israeli and Palestinian military groups in the hope the conflict can be brought to a swift close.

“There is no way that firing a missile at a civilian home can constitute an effective ‘warning.’ Amnesty International has documented cases of civilians killed or injured by such missiles in previous Israeli military operations on the Gaza Strip,” said Philip Luther Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

The disproportionate death toll is a major public relations problem for Israel and although the roof knocking technique has been condemned by humanitarian bodies it has not as yet caused any deaths and only a handful of wounded have been officially reported.

More than 180 Gazans, of which most are civilian, have died under the rain of Israeli aerial bombings.

The IDF is continuing to promote the “knocking” tactic, which also consists of telephone call alerts to buildings suspected of being targeted prior to an attack being made.

Palestinian children stare at the ruins of buildings destroyed in air attacks. (Photo: Getty)
Palestinian children stare at the ruins of buildings destroyed in air attacks. (Photo: Getty)

Critics have been quick to point out that not all phone calls — or small bombs — are followed up by a full attack and are denouncing the destruction of homes as a form of psychological warfare rather than the preservation of life.

The Israeli government says that it does not target civilians in its strikes and claims that members of Hamas are using the Palestinian civilian population as a human shield.

They are defying international calls to stop firing missiles into Gaza despite mostly women and children falling victim to them, rather than militants.Israel's might is far superior to the Palestinians as it is propped up by America but officials say they won't back down until their border towns stop coming under attack.