IDF soldiers on southern border 370.
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
The human rights organization B’Tselem on Wednesday issued a report stating that
of the 87 Palestinian civilians killed in Operation Pillar of Defense, 80
percent of those fatalities occurred in the second half of the
During the eight-day operation in November, the report states,
a total of 174 Palestinians were killed.
B’Tselem said that of the 167
Palestinians that were killed by the IDF, 87 were civilians, 62 took part in
hostilities, 7 were killed in targeted assassinations and it was unclear in 11
deaths whether they were civilians or gunmen.
Another 7 were killed by
other Palestinians, all of whom had been accused of collaboration with Israel,
said the report.
The report continued that it “challenges the common
perception in the Israeli public and media that the operation was ‘surgical’ and
caused practically no fatalities among uninvolved Palestinian
Furthermore, the report claimed that there was a “significant
difference” between the first four days and the final four days of the
operation, with 80% of Palestinian civilian fatalities – 70 out of the 87 –
occurring in the last four days.
B’Tselem acknowledged that the “harm
caused to civilians in the course of the campaign was much less extensive than
that caused in Operation Cast Lead,” and that the IDF “adopted a stricter
open-fire policy and firing was more restricted and focused.”
acknowledged the difficulties the IDF faces in fighting an opponent that mixes
in with the civilian population.
At the same time, the group said that
its report “raises suspicions” of violations of international humanitarian law
regarding alleged “lack of effective advance notice of an impending attack and
an unacceptably broad definition of what constitutes a ‘legitimate target.’” The
report states that in the early days of the operation, more gunmen were killed
than civilians, whereas in the later days of the operation, many more civilians
It tries to raise questions about the necessity and quality
of IDF missions during the latter days of the operation.
The report also
noted that one Palestinian woman was killed by a rocket fired from the Gaza
Strip and that a further five Palestinians were likely, but not definitely,
killed by Palestinian rockets.
Also discussed in the report were the six
The report said that four Israeli civilians were
killed by rockets or shells fired from Gaza.
Three Israelis were killed
on November 15, 2012, when a Grad rocket hit a home in Kiryat Malachi
another was killed on November 20, 2012, by a mortar shell.
two members of the security forces were killed by mortar shells between November
20 and 22.
The report analyzed nine cases in which Palestinian civilians
were killed or injured by the IDF – cases that the report claimed “raise
suspicions” of international law violations, though it included an IDF letter
that claimed to refute the allegations.
The Jerusalem Post
IDF for additional responses but had not received any by press time.