Israel Brushes Off Complaints of Enormous Gaza Civilian Toll

Livni Insists Killings Were a "Product of Circumstance"

With the lion’s share of the 1,300 Palestinians killed in the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip innocent civilians, there remains considerable international disquiet over the nation’s conduct during the war, particularly in light of its use of white phosphorus weapons in densely populated civilian neighborhoods. But both the government and the military remain undaunted, defended every last killing as necessary.

I am at peace with the fact that we did it,” insists Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who is in charge of the international effort to repair Israel’s image in the wake of its latest war. She dismissed concerns about the civilian toll as a “product of circumstance,” adding “we seek out terrorists, and it can happen.”

The Israeli military likewise defended its behavior during the war, pointing to the thousands of threatening phone calls it made to Gazan civilians before the attacks and the enormous number of pamphlets they dropped from planes ordering them to flee their homes before they were destroyed in air strikes. They also repeated the accusations (without any new evidence to back them up) that Hamas was using civilians as human shields, and claimed that they also used ambulances for transportation. Considering the number of Israeli attacks on ambulances during the three week assault, and the difficulty legitimate ambulances had with getting anywhere near wounded civilians, this would seem like a poor mode of transportation.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.