Israeli Study: Majority of Gazans Slain in War Were Civilians

Israeli Military Claims Study 'Not Based on Facts'

A study issued today by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem dramatically challenged the Israeli government’s claims about last winter’s war against the Gaza Strip, saying that the majority of the nearly 1,400 Gazans killed in a month-long offensive were civilians and that at least 252 of them were children under the age of 16. Only 330 of the slain were actually combatants, the report suggests.

The Israeli military’s version of the conflict saw only 1,166 Gazans killed, and insisted that the vast majority, 709, were combatants and only 295 were civilians. They provided no evidence for their own claims, however, unlike B’Tselem’s report.

The death tolls from B’Tselem’s reports, though slightly lower, were more in keeping with reports from Palestinians rights groups, which claimed slightly over 1,400 deaths. The Israeli group, as with the Palestinian groups, provided a list of names of the slain. The Israeli military did not.

Also as happened with the Palestinian reports, the Israeli military publicly attacked B’Tselem for issuing its report, claiming that they were not based on facts and claimed that B’Tselem did not have the “intelligence capabilities” to come up with such a report.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.