Strategy Page has an interesting piece on the Israeli intelligence operations in Gaza. The post includes this tidbit:
The Israeli attack on Hamas forces in Gaza on December 27th, hit fifty targets within 220 seconds. The fifty Israeli aircraft assembled off the coast, and delivered a well-rehearsed attack designed to take out Hamas targets before key commanders could get away. Israeli intelligence had discovered Hamas plans for such an Israeli attack, which involved key Hamas personnel immediately dispersing to hiding places. These included hospitals, where the Hamas men would dress in staff uniforms and blend in. Other safe havens included nursery schools, and other places where the Hamas officials would be surrounded by lots of civilians at all times. Thus the tight timing for the Israeli attack, intended to catch the key Hamas personnel before they could disperse.
It also explains why so many buildings were destroyed in the bombing attacks and the lengths Israelis go to in order to minimize civilian casualties:
The Israelis also make use of the phone system to avoid civilian casualties. For example, the bombing campaign after the initial attack was directed mostly at the thousands of rockets Hamas had stockpiled. Most of these were stored in civilian housing. This was a technique pioneered by Hezbollah in Lebanon. There, some homes would have a basement excavated, to provide more space for rockets.
Israeli intelligence is still identifying these storage locations. When one is found, the Israelis will phone the home just before the attack and tell the civilians they have a few minutes to get out before the place blows up. In at least one case, the civilians were defiant, and went to the roof, believing that the Israelis would not bomb with women and children in plain sight. In response, the Israeli fighter came in low and fired some 20mm cannon shells right next to the building. The panicked civilians fled the building and the place blew up shortly thereafter.
There's much else of interest at the link to anyone who might be curious as to how Israel is trying to stay ahead of the terrorists in Hamas.RLC