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Palestinian home in Rafah after bombing Photo: AP
Palestinian home in Rafah after bombing Photo: AP
 
 

Palestinians: Final Gaza toll shows 960 civilians killed

Palestinian Center for Human Rights says 1,434 people killed during Operation Cast Lead, including 239 police officers, 235 'fighters,' group accuses Israel of ignoring difference between combatants and civilians

Reuters
Published: 03.12.09, 21:26 / Israel News

Israel's 22-day offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip killed 1,434 people, including 960 civilians, 239 police officers and 235 fighters, a Palestinian human rights group said on Thursday.

 

"'The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights' investigations reveal that throughout the course of the assault, Israeli Occupation Forces used excessive, indiscriminate force, in violation of the principle of distinction," the group said in a report.

 

The principle of distinction "obliges all parties to the conflict to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants." The group said it would publish a list of the identities of those killed next week and would post them on its website in Arabic, with an English version to follow.

 

It said the "disproportionately high rate of death amongst the civilian population, when compared to that of resistance fighters" was evidence that Israeli forces had not respected

this principle.

 

The group said 288 children and 121 women were among civilians killed in the bombing and shelling.

 

"The Ministry of Health have also confirmed that a total of 5,303 Palestinians were injured in the assault,
including 1,606 children and 828 women," it said.

 

It called for an international investigation into "crimes committed by the Israeli forces and Israel's conduct of hostilities" and "prosecution of all political and military officials" accused.

 

Israel says its forces never deliberately targeted civilians in Gaza and did their utmost to avoid civilian casualties. It says Hamas fighters used ordinary Palestinians as human shields.

 

During Operation Cast Lead, 13 Israelis were killed, 3 of them civilians killed by Palestinian rockets.

 

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