A leading international child's rights NGO has released a hard-hitting new report on "the high price paid by children" during Israel' assault on the Gaza Strip last year.
The report by Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), 'Operation Protective Edge: A War Waged on Children', deals with the verified deaths of 547 Palestinian children during Israel's assault, two-thirds of whom were 12 years old or younger.
DCIP says it found "overwhelming and repeated evidence that Israeli forces committed grave violations against children amounting to war crimes." This included the killing of 164 children by drone strikes.
In addition to the fatalities, more than 1,000 children "suffered injuries that rendered them permanently disabled."
The report documents numerous specific incidents, including the deaths of Rawya Joudeh, 40, and four of her five children (aged between 6 and 4), when an Israeli drone-fired missile struck as they played in the family's yard.
According to DCIP, just under half of the children who were killed in Gaza "lost their lives in aerial attacks on residential buildings."
The report states: "Missiles dropped by Israeli warplanes killed 225 children while they were in their own homes or seeking shelter, often as they sat down to eat with their families, played, or slept."
In six military offensives on the Gaza Strip since 2006, Israel has killed 1097 children, says DCIP. The NGO reiterates its call for the UN Secretary-General to "list" Israel's armed forces as part of the UN Security Council's children and armed conflict agenda.
Khaled Quzmar, general director of DCIP, commented: "The international community must demand an end to Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza and challenge systemic impunity by investigating allegations of war crimes and holding the perpetrators accountable."
|Name of Israeli Military offensive||Date||Children Killed|
|Operation Summer Rains||Jun – Sep 2006||58|
|Operation Autumn Clouds||Nov 2006||85|
|Operation Warm Winter||Feb – Mar 2008||33|
|Operation Cast Lead||Dec – Jan 2009||353|
|Operation Pillar of Defence||Nov 2012||33|
|Operation Protective Edge||Jul – Aug 2014||535|
Full report available here.