Israel Insists Only 56% of Those Killed in Gaza War Were Civilians

Report Defends Attack as 'Moral War'

Expecting a UN report in the next few days that will tell a similar story but in much less glowing terms, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has rushed the release of its own report on last summer’s Gaza War, defending it as a “moral war” by a “moral country with values.

The report’s attempts to water down the casualty figures in their month-long war appears to have been ill-considered, however, with claims that 44% of the slain were combatants putting the civilian figure at 56%, much lower than international estimates but not exactly a figure to be proud of.

Israel was under criticism during the war for deliberate targeting of civilian neighborhoods, ordering locals to evacuate en masse without there being any place within the strip that was not being bombed, and also for deliberately attacking UN facilities they knew to be full of refugees at the time.

The UN’s own figures on the report had 67% of the slain as civilians, while Palestinians had put the figure somewhere between 70% and 75%. With over 2,000 people killed in the Israeli attacks, even the foreign ministry’s 56% seems like an awful lot of bystanders.

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.