According to preliminary statistics provided by Euro-Med Monitor, based on field documentation, at least nine out of 10 Palestinian deaths resulting from Israeli attacks are in fact civilian deaths.
The death toll of Palestinians had risen to 21,022 since the start of the war on the Gaza Strip—a number that includes those missing under the rubble whose chances of survival have almost completely diminished—including 8,312 children and 4,270 women. It should be noted that 19,660 of the dead are civilians. According to the human rights group, these figures clearly refute the Israeli claim, as 60% of the dead are women and children. Forty per cent of the dead are men, the majority of whom (65%) were civilians and elderly.
Euro-Med Monitor noted that these male civilian victims include those who were employed by the United Nations and international organisations; those who were affiliated with the Palestinian Authority; people with special needs; and those who had obtained Israeli security permits in order to work in Israel.
The deaths also include 280 medical personnel, 26 rescue workers, 112 United Nations staff, and 77 journalists and media professionals.
The Geneva-based rights organisation indicated that its preliminary statistics on civilian casualties support the figures put out by the United Nations and its specialised organisations, which show that about 70% of those killed in Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip have been women, children, and elderly people.
These figures were presented by the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and the United Nations Population Fund, while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said weeks ago that Gaza had become a “cemetery for children”.
Israel is required by international humanitarian law and the convention on the laws of war to protect civilians and not attack them for any reason, stated Euro-Med Monitor. This runs counter to its enlarging the authority granted to its army to bomb non-military targets, and removing limitations pertaining to anticipated civilian casualties.
The Israeli army’s official statements, which have declared the start of large-scale assassination operations against those it describes as “wanted”, have not included more than 22 reported targets, and have expressed knowledge that each targeting has caused a huge toll of victims.
In comparison to its previous military operations in the Gaza Strip, Israel’s bombing of the region is dramatically more severe. The ongoing bombing includes non-military targets such as homes, public buildings, and main infrastructure, all with the intention of seriously harming civil society.
Israel, which has tightly besieged the Gaza Strip since 2006, has extensive intelligence files on the vast majority of potential targets in Gaza, including homes, allowing it to stipulate the number of civilians likely to be killed in an attack on a specific target. Army intelligence units are aware of the figure in advance, having calculated it themselves and knowing roughly how many civilians will likely be killed or injured just before the attack takes place. However, they underestimate the number of civilian lives that will be lost and treat them as "collateral damage."
Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor concluded that the rate of civilian deaths in Israel’s war of extermination raging in the Gaza Strip is the highest in conflict areas worldwide in the 21st century, and that it seriously violates the principles of human rights and international humanitarian law, which state that the protection of civilians comes first and foremost.
#Aggression #Israel #Gaza 23-12-07
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