Israel says has evidence 47% of Gaza dead were combatants

JERUSALEM Sat Aug 2, 2014 10:01pm IST

1 of 3. Palestinian medics carry a girl, whom they said was wounded by an Israeli air strike, at a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 2, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Related Topics

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel has evidence that almost half of Palestinians killed in the 25-day-old Gaza war were combatants, its deputy foreign minister said on Saturday, pushing back against international allegations of a lopsidedly heavy civilian death toll.

Gazan human rights groups say at least 80 percent of the 1,669 Palestinians killed have been non-combatants, including hundreds of children. The U.N. Human Rights Council last week accused the Israelis of "disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks" and launched an inquiry into possible war crimes.

Israel, which has lost 63 soldiers and 3 civilians to the fighting, says it has done everything possible to avoid harming innocents and that Gaza's dominant Hamas Islamists invite such casualties by operating in densely populated areas.

"There is research being done in the military, very professionally and reliably, (whose) conclusion is that at least 47% of the fatalities are terrorists, with photographs and names," Tzachi Hanegbi told Israel's Channel Two television, adding that the data would be presented to investigators.

He did not elaborate. Israel rejected the U.N. Human Rights Council's probe announcement, describing the forum as biased, but usually conducts its own combat inquiries.

Israel says Hamas and other Palestinian guerrillas in Gaza are terrorists and in past conflicts has used broad definitions of combatants - including, for example, Palestinian policemen working for the Hamas administration.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Giles Elgood)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Land Ordinance

Land Ordinance

Modi says willing to make changes in land decree  Full Article 

Sahara Woes

Sahara Woes

SEBI cancels Sahara's portfolio management licence  Full Article 

Gold Demand

Gold Demand

India gold demand muted, eyes cut in import duty  Full Article 

Coffee's Hot

Coffee's Hot

IPO could value Cafe Coffee Day at $1 billion  Full Article 

Sahara Salaries

Sahara Salaries

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Full Article 

DLF Fined

DLF Fined

DLF says reviewing $8.4 million SEBI penalty  Full Article 

GM Corn

GM Corn

Monsanto says GM corn trial in final stage in India  Full Article 

Rail Budget

Rail Budget

Breakingviews - India goes back to future with $137 bln rail push  Full Article | Full Coverage 

Clean Energy

Clean Energy

India says clean energy a $160 billion opportunity over five years  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage