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Resource: Over half of Palestinians killed in 'Pillar of Defense' were civilians

Human rights organization B’Tselem published a report reviewing harm to civilians in Operation Pillar of Defense. The report provides statistics on the numbers of Palestinians and Israelis killed over the course of the operation, which lasted from November 14 to 21, 2012. The report challenges the common perception in the Israeli public and media that the operation was ‘surgical’ and caused practically no fatalities among uninvolved Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, the report finds that there was a significant difference between the first and the final days of the operation: of the uninvolved Palestinian fatalities, 80 percent were killed in the last four days of the operation.

According to B’Tselem’s investigation, 167 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military during the operation. This number includes 62 Palestinians who took part in the hostilities and seven other who were targets of assassination. Of the remaining fatalities, 87 did not take part in the hostilities. With regard to 11 fatalities B’Tselem was unable to determine whether or not they had taken part in the hostilities.

B’TSELEM – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. It endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.

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    1. XYZ

      The vast majority of victims of Palestinian “armed resistance” were Israeli civilians who were specifically targetted as such, by the suicide bombers who were supported and encouraged by official Palestinian authorities like FATAH in charge of the PA and by HAMAS. Also rocket fire carried out by HAMAS or organizations under their auspices is directed indiscrimately into Israeli population areas, thus also specifically targetting civilians. Does B’TZELEM believe that Israelis are supposed to be “morally superior” to the Palestinians? Are we supposed to be “better than them”? On what basis?

      Reply to Comment
    2. rsgengland

      The initial sub-heading of this article disputes the fact that Israels air attacks on Gaza in 2012 were surgical.
      Considering the high population density over all of Gaza, considering the use and storage of weaponry in civilian areas by the ‘resistance’, and considering the Israeli ordnance, employed, these air strikes were indeed surgical.
      If Israel had used the arbitrary, generalized and unfocused bombardments as employed by the regime in Syria, the death toll would have been considerably higher.
      The problem with so many of these NGO reports is that they start with a clearly defined agenda, and either bury inconvenient facts in the body of the report, that is if they do not ignore them all together.
      There are two sides to every story, and most of life happens in the murky middle grey areas, not on the black and white extremities.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ken Kelso

      All deaths, whether it was friendly fire or civilians killed collaterally because Hamas fires rockets from civilian areas could have all been avoided if Hamas just did not fire any rockets into Israel at all!
      Again and again and again it is Arab aggression that causes Israeli defensive use of force!

      Arabs cannot ever be trusted to tell the truth. Even when they kill their own, they will blame it on Israel or twist the truth to demonize Israel when it is always the Palestinian Arabs who refuse to live in peace with the Jewish state of Israel, it always has been!

      Reply to Comment
    4. Ken Kelso

      From 2011.

      Hamas celebrates 24th anniversary, brags it has killed 1365 Israelis

      Hamas celebrates 24th anniversary, brags it has killed 1365 Israelis
      Hamas also released some statistics for the occasion:
      1848 “martyrs”
      1365 Israelis killed
      6411 Israelis wounded
      1117 terror attacks
      87 suicide bomb missions
      11,093 rockets and mortars shot to Israel

      Reply to Comment
    5. Ken Kelso

      I wouldn’t believe anything B’Tselem says giving their history of lying.

      Just look at how extreme B’Tselem is
      B’Tselem Director Shocked at Senior Member’s Extreme Blog
      Elad Benari
      April 19th, 2010

      Israeli “Rights” Group B’Tselem Peddles Staged Video
      March 3, 2011

      B’Tselem’s Annual Casualty Figures Questioned
      Tamar Sternthal
      January 3, 2007

      UPDATED: B’Tselem Casualty Count Doesn’t Add Up
      Tamar Sternthal
      November 2, 2008.

      B’Tselem, Los Angeles Times Redefine “Civilian”
      Tamar Sternthal
      July 7th, 2003

      B’tselem Figures Again Challenged
      September 15, 2009

      Reply to Comment