The source blamed the humanitarian situation in Gaza on Hamas. "Six of the government hospitals in the Strip are almost fully occupied, and so we had to take dozens of wounded people to Egypt for care. We opened a field hospital at Erez (Crossing) at the beginning of the operation, but we only treated 50 wounded people through indirect measures because Hamas denies the Palestinian access."
But the source noted that in recent days Hamas has specifically chosen to fire mortars from terror sites near clinics and schools.
The senior source added that – for the first time since IDF Operation Protective Edge began – population affairs officers from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) have been active in the field, and "together with the regiment commanders they are assisting the Palestinian population during the fighting."
He noted that "one COGAT officer helped disabled Palestinian women out of their homes before an attack." According to the COGAT figures, some 1,700 people have been killed by cover fire (meant to rescue wounded soldiers in Palestinian territory), including several hundred women and children.
The source added that "Hamas hides its casualties, and because many have been killed inside the tunnels during their demolition, their bodies have been left there."
The senior military source clarified that humanitarian assistance has been transferred to Gaza. "There is no shortage of food in the Strip, and the crossings have been open since almost the first day. Some 1,850 trucks carrying water, food, and fuel have passed through them. Various countries have sent aid into the Strip. Planes are arriving from the US and Italy to provide assistance."
The senior source also admitted that "most of the power-lines in Strip fail every day, and crews of the Israel Electric Corporation are working on the Israeli side to turn them back on. They are relying on generators in the Strip, that's why the fuel transfers are so significant."
Addressing the allegation that Israel attacked a UN school on Sunday, the senior military source said, "If someone was injured, it was not Palestinians from the school, but those who were nearby."