The airstrike on the Jabalia camp killed at least 50 civilians, a medical official and Palestinian authorities said, according to Al Jazeera.
Lt. Col. Richard Hecht was unrepentant, however, telling Blitzer: “There was a very senior Hamas commander in that area. Sadly, he was hiding, again, as they do behind civilians.”
He later claimed that their target, who he declined to name, had “killed many, many Israelis” and was successfully taken out in Tuesday’s strike.
Blitzer twice confronted Hecht about innocent lives being lost, asking, “But even if that Hamas commander was there amidst all those Palestinian refugees who are in that Jabalia refugee camp, Israel still went ahead and dropped a bomb there... knowing that a lot of innocent civilians, men, women and children presumably would be killed?”
“This is the tragedy of war, Wolf,” Hecht replied. “As we’ve been saying for days, move south.” He was referring to a warning issued by Israel’s military to move to the southern part of the Gaza Strip to avoid being considered part of the “terrorist organization.”
“You knew there were refugees, all sorts of refugees, but you decided to still drop a bomb on that refugee camp attempting to kill the Hamas commander,” Blitzer shot back.
Hecht also elaborated on the ground operation in Gaza that freed an Israeli hostage, IDF soldier Ori Megidish, on Monday before losing signal with Blitzer.