B’tselem: Israel killed 290 Palestinians in 2018, most of them innocents

NGO claims only 90 of 254 killed in Gaza took part in violence; IDF has no comment; Israeli officials say they seek to prevent civilian deaths, accuse Hamas of using human shields

Palestinian demonstrator uses a slingshot to throw stones towards Israeli forces during a protest on November 16, 2018, on the eastern outskirts of Gaza City

Adam Ragson writes in Times of israel, “Israeli security forces killed 290 Palestinians in 2018, the majority of whom did not “take part in hostilities,” B’tselem, an Israeli human rights group, said Thursday. In a brief report, the group said that Israeli troops killed 254 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including two women and 47 minors; 34 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; and two in Israel. In the coastal enclave, it said 149 of those killed did not “take part in hostilities,” while 90 did. The report added that B’tselem was unable to determine whether the remaining 15 of those killed in Gaza “took part in hostilities or not.”

“An IDF spokesman did not respond to a request for comment about B’tselem’s findings. Israeli security officials maintain that they only employ force when absolutely necessary and take exhaustive precautions and pains to prevent Palestinian civilian deaths. At times, however, they have admitted to making mistakes, resulting in Palestinian civilian deaths. Security officials also maintain that terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad use Palestinian civilians as human shields to protect themselves and their military assets.”

Israeli soldiers conduct raids in West Bank village of Kobar on December 31, 2018, in search of Palestinian terrorist who committed deadly shooting attack outside the Givat Assaf

“B’tselem said it collected the data on the Palestinians killed by troops last year through eyewitness accounts, official documents and photographs and video footage. It also said it cross-checked its information with the reports and statements of Palestinian and international human rights groups, the IDF, Palestinians terrorist groups and media reports.” (more…)

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