The EU in cooperation with the UN have at least renovated some [Soviet-era, I guess] bomb shelters in Ukraine (ibid).

So, have they tried to do something like that in Gaza? After all, the EU was fairly invested in Gaza with water and gas pipes etc.

I can see one argument against could be "if Israel bombs Gaza, that's the latter's fault [for attacking Israel]". But, OTOH, the view in a lot of Europe etc., is that Hamas is not Gaza and Gaza civilians deserve protection, possibly including bomb shelters.

So, have the EU, the UN, [deep pocketed] Arab countries, or even some Muslim countries farther away proposed to build bomb shelters for the civilian population of Gaza? If not, why not? E.g. is Israel openly objecting to something like that?

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    @NoDataDumpNoContribution: the air strikes in Gaza have been going on for 15+ years, ever since Hamas started to use rockets [and Israel fought back with bombs]. So, there would have been plenty of time to build something, although I grant that possibly it was not deemed necessary given the scale of the bombing back then. That could be part of an answer, I guess. Commented Nov 9, 2023 at 21:39
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    How would any outside actor ensure that bomb shelters (or anything else) built for civilians would actually remain available to be used by civilians rather than being promptly taken over by hamas who would then exclude all civilians?
    – brhans
    Commented Nov 9, 2023 at 22:34
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    Given that Israel blocks the import of concrete into Gaza to prevent the construction of tunnels or bunkers, why do you think they will allow this?
    – Rekesoft
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 9:04
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    @Rekesoft: per a quote in a related Q, they do allow imports for specific 'international projects'. Which of course, means they kinda vet those projects. So, the Q makes sense in that regard (as well). Assuming someone proposed this, did Israel object? Of course, it's possible nobody thought Israel would accept, so that's why they didn't bother, but that may be a little harder to substantiate. Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 9:05
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    You miss a major factor in Israeli thinking - they claim civilian collateral damages are so high because Hamas uses them as human shields. So even if UN or EU builds a bomb shelter, Israel believes it has the right to bomb it if a Hamas member manages to hide in one of these civilian structures. Then there's their Dahiya doctrine which says civilians costs need to be high to "discourage" civilians from supporting terrorists. Building bomb shelters means you also recognize and accept that the other party is willingly violating Geneva conventions.
    – sfxedit
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 17:48

2 Answers 2


They are never going to fund making bomb shelters, for a simple reason: Hamas Tunnels. Hamas has an incredibly extensive tunnel system, and the stuff you'd used to create a bomb shelter is what you'd use to create more tunnels. Hamas, if they wanted to, could have bomb shelters and protect civilians, but they don't want to protect civilians. To them, both Hamas fighters and regular Palestinians dying because of Israeli Airstrikes are desirable things to aim for. First, it makes them a Martyr, which is an instant trip to Paradise. Second, it is how Hamas wins the PR battle with the greater world.

Hamas, for the record, says this. They actively say that death is their strength, that they want their children to be martyrs, and that Israel's weakness is their unwillingness to die.

This is what some mean when they call Hamas a death cult, btw. It's when death of one's own side becomes a positive good to aim for.

So there are no bomb shelters, because no one wants them. Hamas will use any materials for tunnels instead, Israel knows this and thus doesn't allow such materials, and nobody asks because they know exactly what Hamas will use the materials for.

Even if a bomb shelter was supplied to Gaza in bombshelter form, for example if it was created in Gaza under supervision, shortly afterwards it will be tunneled into and used as another entrance to the Gaza Metro.

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    that they want their children to be martyrs If you have a source for this I would love to see it.
    – dotancohen
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 13:42
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    @dotancohen Many. Here's one from MEMRI TV: memri.org/tv/… "They are afraid of death... We, on the other hand, welcome death. A Palestinian carries his son on his shoulders, with a headband on the kid’s forehead, which his father inscribed: "Martyrdom Seeker." This is a man who says: 'I want my son to die.' A [Palestinian] mother says: 'I have given birth to six children, so that three could die in the revolution. I gave birth to children so that they would be martyred.'" Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 15:05
  • Does that one guy represent all of Gaza? Seriously, are there other extensive evidence that Arab culture values dying children?
    – dotancohen
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 18:34
  • @dotancohen I'm very specifically not talking about what Gazans believe, much less Arab culture, but about what Hamas (and obvious sympathizers such as this guy) believe. These are two very different things. Arab culture in general isn't a death cult nor anywhere near one, nor is just Gaza. Hamas specifically is. There are quotes from Hamas leaders saying similar things. I don't know why you are asking me about general gazan or Arab beliefs when I made no claim about them, but I'd prefer you'd stop until I do so. Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 18:40


Has the EU, the UN, or even some Muslim countries proposed to fund or construct any bomb shelters for civilians in Gaza?

Israel prohibits the importation of materials they deem as duel use (military/civilian) uses into Gaza including cement and steel rebar. This has been the case since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007.

  • I know. This has been amply discussed in related Q e.g. politics.stackexchange.com/questions/82482/… Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 20:09
  • @Fizz, So why did you ask if any third parties to the dispute wanted to build bomb shelters? What are they supposed to build them with bamboo? A better question might have been have any third parties tried to get Israel to modify their prohibited materials list for Gaza. Or have any third party large scale construction projects been bombed into non existence by Israel? Or has Israel ever bombed third party peace keepers? Or Has Israel ever tried to run down a United States soldier peace keeper with a tank?
    – JMS
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 16:19

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