By Ford Fischer, Special Report College Associate
A new report released by the Associated Press details the outcome of this summer’s conflict between Israelis and Palestinians along the Gaza strip.
At least 844 Palestinians were killed as a result of the airstrikes on homes this summer. Of those, only 92 were confirmed or suspected militants. The AP report explained that these airstrikes made up only 247 of the 5,000 airstrikes launched by Israel during the conflict.
The report found that approximately one third of the dead were children, and 60% were women, children, or older men. The other 240 were males aged 18-59 with no known connection to militant groups.
Gaza militants fired 4,300 rockets at Israel, who conducted a total of 5,000 airstrikes. While the number of rockets fired is relatively equal, only five Israeli civilians were killed, along with 67 soldiers.
Palestinians largely feel that Israel is specifically targeting citizens. "Either they have the worst army in the world that constantly misses targets and hits civilians, or they are deliberately killing civilians," said Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian spokeswoman said to the AP. If most of those killed are civilians, "you cannot call them collateral damage."
In January, Palestinians joined the International Criminal Court. While it seemed unlikely before, this creates the possibility of Israel being investigated for war crimes.
Israeli leaders maintain that the strikes, even when citizens were killed, were justified. They explain that Hamas has strategically placed weapons and fighters in civilian areas. "Our position is very clear. Israel did not commit war crimes," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.
Palestinian leaders feel that this doesn’t hold up, given that only 89% of those killed in strikes on civilian areas were not suspected or confirm militants.
U.N. investigators do note, however, that Hamas is not entirely faultless either. While their tactics have been mostly ineffective, they are also under suspicion of war crimes for indiscriminately firing rockets over the border, which could hit civilians.
Overall, 1,483 Palestinian civilians were killed in the war -- 66 percent of the overall death toll of 2,205. Only 6% of the Israeli death toll (which totals 72) has been civilians. Both sides have been in a ceasefire since August.