In Israel’s War, Gaza Children Increasingly in the Line of Fire

24% of Slain Are Under the Age of 18

As Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip continues to escalate, the overall death toll continues to rise, with civilians the overwhelming victims of the onslaught. Most troubling, perhaps, is the growing number of children among the slain.

Israel got some negative publicity last week when they killed four young children in an air strike against the beach, but there is no indication it changed anything about Israel’s targeting standards, and the most recent figures show roughly 24% of those slain in the war are under the age of 18.

A lot of these deaths have come as Israel attacks civilian neighborhoods, pounding seemingly random houses and killing large numbers of entire families. Israel has insisted they warned civilians to flee, but since they don’t let anyone out of the Gaza Strip, there isn’t really any place for them to go that isn’t just as likely to be targeted.

Indeed, even as Israeli officials continue to pat themselves on the back for their “precise” targeting, the number of combatants they’ve actually hit is a tiny minority of the overall toll. By contrast, Hamas, which isn’t known for being particularly accurate with its makeshift weapons, has managed to keep the Israeli toll almost exclusively military in nature, with only three civilians killed in Israel.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of