B’Tselem: in most recent Gaza war, half of casualties were civilians, 1/3 children

A B’Tselem report on Operation Pillar of Defense, from Haaretz:

The B’Tselem based its findings on Operation Pillar of Defense on statements issued by the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet security service, and on an internal investigation.

The IDF killed 167 Palestinians during the operation, at least 87 of them non-combatants, according to the data presented in the B’Tselem report.

Thirty-one of these non-combatant civilians, or 35 percent, were minors. Of these minors, 20 were under the age of 12, according to B’Tselem…

The report explicitly states that Hamas and other militant organizations in the Gaza Strip have violated this prohibition by, inter alia, firing directly at Israeli civilians and locales, firing from within civilian Palestinian neighborhoods whilst endangering the inhabitants, and hiding inside civilian buildings.

The B’Tselem report indicates that the IDF also operated in violation of international law at times, in at least some of the cases in which “non-participant” Palestinians were killed.

Response by the IDF:

Military Advocate for Operational Matters Lt. Col. Ronen Hirsch told B’Tselem in response to its inquiry that the IDF prosecutor’s office sees no criminal act or substantiated suspicion of a violation of the rules of war in four of the incidents in question, and therefore closed the cases.

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