TEL AVIV — Israel says it makes every effort to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza, and Capt. Omri of the Air Force explained to NBC News how his team seeks to target Hamas fighters and weaponry. Omri, who was interviewed on condition we not use his surname, is part of the “Flying Camel Squadron” based out of Sdedov Air Base and he flies a U.S.-made Beechcraft Super King Air B200 converted to hold surveillance equipment. Even though critics have assailed Israel over the civilian death toll in Gaza, Omri says the IDF will call off attacks if civilians are spotted.
Omri said Palestinian fighters often operate among civilians. “Hamas is doing everything they can to bring the civilians into this conflict. We are seeing Hamas preventing people from being vacated from the area, calling them back into neighborhoods where we announced we are about to perform attacks. And so in order to for us to protect our civilians we have almost got no option but to drop bombs on rocket launchers or ammunition stashes that are actually buried between residential areas.”
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