Gaza Destruction: Borrell Compares to WWII Germany – Insights

The situation in Gaza is “apocalyptic” for the civilian populations, warned Monday, December 11, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, for whom the level of destruction in the Palestinian territory is equal to or even greater than that of Germany during the Second World War.

“Unfortunately, the level of destruction of buildings in Gaza is more or less, even higher than the destruction suffered by German cities during the Second World War,” Josep Borrell said after a meeting of Ministers of Affairs EU foreign affairs in Brussels. The Spanish official gave the press a “catastrophic” picture of the situation in Gaza, saying that the level of human suffering constituted an “unprecedented challenge”.

60% of buildings in northern Gaza seriously damaged

According to the British newspaper Financial Times, by December 4, more than 60% of buildings in northern Gaza had been seriously damaged, according to analysis of satellite radar data carried out by Corey Scher, of the CUNY Graduate Center, and Jamon Van Den Hoek of Oregon State University. Across the Gaza Strip, between 82,600 and 105,300 buildings were left in ruins. By comparison, in the space of two years, between 1943 and 1945, Allied bombing of 61 major German cities razed about 50% of their urban areas, according to Robert Pape, an American military historian.

According to another American military study dating from 1954, cited by the Financial Times, 7,100 tons of Allied munitions were dropped on Dresden, seriously damaging 56% of non-industrial buildings, half of the homes and killing around 25,000 people in 1945. “As Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne (…) Gaza will also be remembered as a place name designating one of the heaviest conventional bombing campaigns in history,” says Robert Pape.

“Long-lasting humanitarian ceasefire”

The heads of diplomacy of the Twenty-Seven discussed additional sanctions against Hamas on Monday, based on a proposal made by France, Italy and Germany. “There were no objections,” said Josep Borrell, adding that he would make a proposal to this effect to the 27.

He also said possible sanctions against Israeli extremists in the West Bank had been discussed. “There was no unanimity,” he clarified, adding that he would nevertheless make a proposal to the member states. EU countries, for their part, have called for a lasting truce in the fighting in Gaza. “We must immediately call on all parties to declare a lasting humanitarian ceasefire, which could lead to an end to hostilities,” indicate the leaders of Ireland, Spain, Malta and Belgium, in a letter addressed to Charles Michel, President of the Council European, institution representing the 27 Member States.

“Put an end to the carnage, the massacre of innocent civilians”

This approach aims to “put an end to the carnage, the massacre of innocent civilians,” explained Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin upon his arrival in Brussels. These four countries are demanding that the EU adopt a strong position on this point at the summit of heads of state and government on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

The war between Israel and Hamas was triggered by an unprecedented attack perpetrated by the Palestinian Islamist terrorist movement on October 7 on Israeli soil, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians. Of 240 people kidnapped, 137 are still held hostage in the Gaza Strip. In retaliation, Israel vowed to “annihilate” Hamas. Its devastating bombings and a vast ground operation left 18,205 people dead, mostly women and young people under the age of 18, according to Hamas figures.

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