A group of Palestinian civilians managed to thwart an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Wednesday by gathering on the roof of the targeted home in a non-violent act of civil disobedience.
The Israeli tactic of using missile strikes against the homes of 'wanted' Palestinians had been put on hold two months ago when a ceasefire was agreed between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza. But on Wednesday, Ibrahim Juma, a member of the political wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, received a phone call from the Israeli authorities that his house was about to be bombed.
Instead of evacuating, however, Juma called his neighbors and friends, who surrounded his home and stood on the roof to try to turn back the Israeli plane that approached to bomb the home. The group managed to stop the missile strike with their mass presence.
Non-violent civil disobedience of this type has been used several times in the past few months to stop Israeli missile strikes on Palestinian homes. Home demolitions by Israeli forces, both by missile strikes and armored bulldozers, have made over 27,000 Palestinians homeless over the past six years of intifada. Such home demolitions have been deemed illegal under international law.