1394, or 63%, of the 2,202 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in Operation “Protective Edge” did not take part in the hostilities. Of these, 526 – a quarter of all Palestinians killed in the operation – were children under eighteen years of age. Of the Palestinians killed who did not take part in the hostilities, 180 were babies, toddlers, and children under the age of six. Another 346 were children from age six through seventeen, and 247 were women between the ages of 18 and 59. Another 113 were men and women over the age of sixty. Additionally, 17 children were killed while participating in the hostilities. Of the 72 Israelis killed in the operation, six were civilians, including a four-year-old child.
These are some of the figures published in July 2016 by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem to mark two years since the operation, which took place in July-August 2014. B’Tselem’s data are based on a meticulous, exhaustive investigation carried out by the organization’s field researchers in Gaza, which were cross referenced with other publicly available sources.
The high number of civilian fatalities – including women, children, and the elderly – casts doubt on Israel’s claim that all the targets were legitimate and that the military adhered to the principle of proportionality during the attacks and took precautions to reduce harm to civilians.