March 26th, 2009
Vast Majority of Palestinians Killed in Operation Cast Lead Found to be Terror Operatives
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
Following the publication of reports that introduced false information originating from various Palestinian sources, and in order to remove any doubt regarding he number of Palestinians killed in Operation Cast Lead, the IDF wishes to introduce the accurate figures to the public. The figures were gathered following the examination of various intelligence sources and after the names and numbers were thoroughly cross-referenced and examined.
According to the data gathered by the Research Department of the Israel Defense Intelligence, there were 1166 names of Palestinians killed during Operation Cast Lead. 709 of them are identified as Hamas terror operatives, amongst them several from various other terror organizations. Additionally, there are 162 names of men that have not been yet attributed to any organization. Furthermore, it has come to our understanding that 295 uninvolved Palestinians were killed during the operation, 89 of them under the age of 16, and 49 of them were women.
The IDF wishes to emphasize that its objective during Operation Cast Lead was to target the Hamas terror organization and not the citizens of the Gaza Strip. It must be stressed that the fighting took place in a complex battlefield, defined by the Hamas terror organization itself. The Hamas terror organization placed the primary fighting scene at the heart of civilian neighborhoods as it booby-trapped homes, fired from schools, and used civilians as human shields.
The IDF took extensive measures in order to prevent harming uninvolved civilians, including the dropping of leaflets, broadcasting warnings in local Palestinian media, and placing numerous phone calls to homes. The procedure of making use of warning shots and the briefing of commanders to take extra precautions in populated areas were also among the measures taken by the IDF.