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
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
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: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own