A new video uploaded by a Gaza news outlet gives an incredible and up-close look at Israel’s “knock on roof” policy.

The tactic involves a smaller projectile being dropped on house of suspected Hamas militants, followed by a larger bomb meant to eliminate the target. The idea is that the first bomb serves as a warning for innocents to evacuate before the target is eliminated.

In the video posted by Watania, viewers see the initial “knock” hit the top of a nearby house. Twenty-five seconds in, the big explosion hits. But not only do viewers see the explosion, they also are able to see the actual bomb in mid-air before it hits its target:

(Source: YouTube)

(Source: YouTube)

Watch it unfold below:

CNN has a more thorough explanation of the policy:

The procedure generally begins with a phone call to the occupants to leave a building, according to Relik Shafir, a retired brigadier general in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and a former fighter pilot.

Such places, he says, are often under constant surveillance, and the IDF has a sense of how many people live there, and how many leave.

If it is still unclear whether a building is occupied, a missile that carries little or no explosive load is aimed at the roof of a building. The impact is felt, but it rarely causes casualties.

“It’s meant to get people to take us seriously,” says Shafir.

There is no standard gap between the delivery of the “dummy” missile and fully armed missiles, says Shafir. It can be minutes or even hours. It depends on how important the target is. But there are hundreds or even thousands of such places in Gaza, chosen by Hamas precisely because they complicate targeting.

The practice isn’t without its critics. As the UK’s Independent newspaper reported recently, Amnesty International has spoken out against it.

Israel, however, contends that it’s an essential practice that not only eliminates threats but gives innocents being used by Hamas a chance to get out of the way.

UPDATE: 

A new video posted on YouTube purports to show evidence that the video in this story was edited by the Gaza news outlet to gin up anti-Israel sentiment. See the evidence in our follow-up story.

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