The aerial bombing campaign by Israel in Gaza is the most indiscriminate in terms of civilian casualties in recent years, a study published by an Israeli newspaper has found.
The analysis by Haaretz came as Israeli forces fought to consolidate their control of northern Gaza on Saturday, bombing the Shejaiya district of Gaza City, while also conducting airstrikes on Rafah, a town on the southern border with Egypt where the Israeli army has told people in Gaza to take shelter.
The full death toll from the past 24 hours was unclear but the main hospital in central Gaza, at Deir al-Balah, reported it received 71 bodies, and 62 bodies were taken to Nasser hospital in the main southern city of Khan Younis, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
The Haaretz analysis found that in three earlier campaigns in Gaza, in the period from 2012-22, the ratio of civilian deaths to the total of those killed in airstrikes hovered around 40%. That ratio declined to 33% in a bombing campaign earlier this year, called Operation Shield and Arrow.
In the first three weeks of the current operation, Swords of Iron, the civilian proportion of total deaths rose to 61%, in what Haaretz described as “unprecedented killing”. The ratio is significantly higher than the civilian toll in all the conflicts around the world during the 20th century, in which civilians accounted for about half the dead.
“The broad conclusion is that extensive killing of civilians not only contributes nothing to Israel’s security, but that it also contains the foundations for further undermining it,” Haaretz concluded. “The Gazans who will emerge from the ruins of their homes and the loss of their families will seek revenge that no security arrangements will be able to withstand.” [Continue reading…]