© Ramadan El-Agha/APA images
Palestinians look at an unexploded Israeli missile, which witnesses said was fired by an Israeli aircraft on a street in Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, 3 August.
A few days before he was killed trying to disarm an unexploded Israeli missile, Hazem Abu Murad, the head of Gaza's bomb squad, estimated
that Israel had dropped between eighteen to twenty thousand tons of explosives on Gaza since 7 July.
As I write, Israel has resumed its heavy bombardment after a nine-day truce ended without a long-term ceasefire agreement.
If Abu Murad's estimate is right, then the explosive power Israel has fired on Gaza by land, sea and air so far is roughly equivalent to one of the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Japan in August 1945.
The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was rated at 13 kilotons - the equivalent of thirteen thousand tons of high-explosive TNT - while the bomb dropped on Nagasaki was rated at 21 kilotons.
Abu Murad, who died along with five other people on 13 August, estimated that about one thousand tons of unexploded munitions remained. There are more than 1,900 people killed in the ongoing Israeli assault - that is more than one out of every thousand of Gaza's nearly 1.8 million residents.
Israel constantly publishes claims about how many mortar shells or rockets have been fired from Gaza - it claims for instance that 3,360 rockets were fired from Gaza
between 8 July and 6 August.
It is well known that the rockets have caused minimal damage and casualties, and most fall in so-called "open areas."
But even the number, which is supposed to sound impressive and justify the attack on Gaza, is actually minuscule compared with the volume of ordnance Israel fires into Gaza.
Estimates based on partial information from Israeli sources indicate that Israel has fired tens of thousands of artillery shells into Gaza and dropped a bare minimum of six thousand tons of bombs from the air
. Abu Murad's on-the-ground estimate is certainly plausible.
And the evidence suggests that contrary to Israeli official propaganda about the care taken to protect civilians
, the vast majority of Israeli munitions are inaccurate and indiscriminate in the context of densely-populated areas where they have been widely used in Gaza.
This probably explains why Israel is so coy about publicizing the number of missiles, bombs and shells it fires at Gaza.