Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli ‘knock on roof’ missile warning revealed in remarkable video

This is how the Israeli military warns some families of impending destruction of homes

A video has emerged showing the extraordinary “knock on the roof” technique used by the Israeli military to warn Palestinian civilians of an impending missile strike.

The footage was uploaded to YouTube yesterday by the Gaza-based Watania news agency, and shows from extremely close quarters a small missile striking the roof of a house across the street.

According to the caption, around 15 minutes later – though most of this time has been edited out of the final clip itself – two fully-armed missiles from an F16 jet strike one after the other, blasting the front of the house away and sending a cloud of debris and rubble into the air.

When the dust settles, the full extent of the damage is slowly revealed, with only the exposed back half of the home still standing.

The initial projectile is part of a controversial warning system used by the Israeli military to make people evacuate structures it has identified as having possible links to Hamas militants.

Meanwhile, as the death toll creeps ever higher and hundreds of Palestinians flee Gaza, Israel’s Prime Minister has said that its mission to take down Hamas “might take a long time”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting today: "We don't know when the operation will end."

The so-called “knock on the roof” technique has been condemned by Amnesty International’s Philip Luther, who said: “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.”

The Watania agency reported that the home in this case belonged to Samir Nofal, who was able to get out in time along with his family and neighbours.

Video: Thousands flee Gaza
READ MORE: Human cost of Israel’s onslaught continues to rise
When German police let anti-Israeli protesters use their megaphone
Israelis 'cheer as missiles strike targets in Gaza'

But others have not been so lucky. According to a Buzzfeed report from last week, the destruction of a home which saw eight members of the same family killed in a single strike was also preceded by a “knock on the roof” warning and a phone-call from the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

The military said that the incident had been a “tragic mistake”, because while locals said they saw some family members leaving the home, others appeared to head to the roof to act as “human shields”.

READ MORE: Israeli air strike demolishes home for the disabled
Medics struggle to treat Gaza's casualties
UN calls for ceasefire

In the past, video footage has shown Israeli drone operators diverting missiles when it is realised there are still people on the roof of a target.

A senior Air Force officer told Haaretz, “There was nothing to be done, the munition was in the air and could not be diverted… Although you see [the family members] running back into the house, there was no way to divert the missile.”

The attack saw six children killed, alongside the Hamas commander Odeh Kaware. Israeli officials described it as a “legitimate target” in the wake of the barrage of rockets fired on Israel from Gaza in recent days and weeks.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
news
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Sport
David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photo Booth Host

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company offers London's best photo booth ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service Engineers



£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service Engineers ...

Recruitment Genius: Project Director / Operations Director

£50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an incredible opportunity for a ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Administrator is requir...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'