Israel-Gaza conflict: 80 per cent of Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes are civilians, UN report says

Many of the fatalities have been children and 1,360 more have been wounded

Almost 80 per cent of Palestinians killed in Gaza by Israeli bombardments have been civilians, the UN has said.

A report raised “concerns about the respect for international humanitarian law” as the impact on families was revealed.

The death toll in Gaza has risen to 182 and more bloodshed was feared on Tuesday as Hamas did not follow the Israeli Government’s approval of ceasefire terms proposed by Egypt.

According to figures from the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) 77 per cent of fatalities since the start of Operation Protective Edge on 7 July have been civilians.

Of the 138 killed when the report was completed, 36 were children, and 1,361 Palestinians had been injured.

Out of wounded Palestinians, almost 390 were children and 250 were women.

Israel has targeted the homes of Hamas leaders and buildings, including mosques, allegedly used to store weapons and as meeting points for militants.

The military has repeatedly claimed that the buildings are legitimate targets but the UN report said the targeting of civilian homes is a violation of international humanitarian law unless the homes are being used for military purposes.

It added: “In case of doubt, buildings ordinarily used for civilian purposes, such as homes, are presumed not to be legitimate military targets.”

Read more: Israel approves Egyptian truce to end violence
EU pushes for ceasefire but ordinary Israeli's want Operation to continue
ISRAELI AIR STRIKE DESTROYS HOME FOR THE DISABLED
NETANYAHU BLAMES HAMAS FOR CIVILIAN CASUALTIES IN GAZA

More than 1,250 homes have been destroyed or severely damaged so far and more than half a million people risk losing their water supply because it is too dangerous for contractors to fix damaged pipelines.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have already fled their homes in northern Gaza following leaflets warning of an Israeli ground offensive and 17,000 have taken refuge at UN-operated schools.

A statement released on Monday also condemned the launching of rockets by Hamas and other militant groups from densely populated residential areas.

James Rawley, the UN’s Humanitarian Co-ordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, warned of a looming humanitarian crisis as agencies struggle with damage to health, education, water and sanitation facilities, as well as power lines.

“Our thoughts must first be with those many civilians who have already lost their lives, and the even greater number of who have suffered physical or psychological injuries,” he added.

“While we await those much needed steps [towards peace], we must once again remind all parties that they must strictly adhere to international humanitarian law.”

Mr Rawley said precautions must be taken to avoid civilian casualties and there must be “proportionality” in operations, adding that military assets should not be kept in residential areas.

The Israeli tactic of using "knock-on-the-door" missiles to warn people to evacuate before a strike has also been criticised, with opponents saying rockets that do not explode are still a danger to life.

The recent conflict is only a part of an ongoing “cycle of violence” in the region that is compounded by poverty, unemployment and food shortages in Gaza caused by years of strict movement restrictions imposed by Israel, Mr Rawley said.

He added: “My thoughts are particularly with Gaza’s children, not only those who are already casualties of this latest conflict, but all of Gaza’s children for whom fear and insecurity are a not only a reality today but a scar that will endure for a lifetime.”

Read more: Air strike destroys home for the disabled
Mosques targeted because 'used to store rockets'
THE TERRIBLE PRICE CHILDREN ARE PAYING FOR WAR WITH HAMAS
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam