A few days before he was killed trying to disarm an unexploded Israeli missile, Hazem Abu Murad, the head of Gaza’s bomb squad, estimated that Israel had dropped between eighteen to twenty thousand tons of explosives on Gaza since 7 July.
As I write, Israel has resumed its heavy bombardment after a nine-day truce ended without a long-term ceasefire agreement.
If Abu Murad’s estimate is right, then the explosive power Israel has fired on Gaza by land, sea and air so far is roughly equivalent to one of the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Japan in August 1945.
The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was rated at 13 kilotons – the equivalent of thirteen thousand tons of high-explosive TNT – while the bomb dropped on Nagasaki was rated at 21 kilotons.
Abu Murad, who died along with five other people on 13 August, estimated that about one thousand tons of unexploded munitions remained. There are more than 1,900 people killed in the ongoing Israeli assault – that is more than one out of every thousand of Gaza’s nearly 1.8 million residents.