Posted by: Lister | May 25, 2007

Palestinian Civilian Casualties

Most Palestinians killed in Israeli raids were civilians, Amnesty says. You would expect that the Palestinians’ reduced ability to counter-attack would lead to fewer attacks against them. After all, Israel only ever counter-attacks.

More than 320 civilians were among a threefold increase in the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces last year, according to Amnesty International. The human rights group’s 2007 report says that over half of the more than 650 Palestinians killed in 2006 were civilians, 120 of them children and young people under 18.

[…] The report said 21 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians militants in the same year, the lowest figure since the beginning of the second intifada in 2000.

Of course, the capture of corporal Gilad Shalit last year led to rather heavy counter-attacks. Heavier than the Israeli responses to attacks upon civilian targets. And still no release of the prisoner. Negotiations would seem to be the sensible way forward.

Amnesty also accused soldiers and settlers of committing “serious human rights abuses, including unlawful killings against Palestinians mostly with impunity”. Although it said settler attacks on farmers in the West Bank had decreased, they were continuing.

It said that, at times, security forces were present at such incidents and did not intervene. It also accused the security forces of often only opening investigations after the cases had been highlighted by journalists and human rights groups.

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