B’Tselem: Words Fail Us

B’Tselem: Words Fail Us

Israeli forces killed 232 Palestinians during the May hostilities in the Gaza Strip.
Nearly 25% were minors, and more than 50% did not partake in the hostilities.
Today, B’Tselem published testimonies of the victims’ relatives.

In the fighting in the Gaza Strip last May, Israeli forces killed 232 Palestinians, including 54 minors and 38 women. Of the casualties, 137 (59%) did not take part in the hostilities, 90 (including one minor) participated in the hostilities, and regarding another five, B’Tselem was unable to ascertain whether or not they had taken part in the hostilities. Another 20 Palestinians, including seven minors, were killed by Palestinian rocket fire. B’Tselem was unable to ascertain who killed eight other Palestinians, six of them minors.

Six Israeli civilians and three foreign nationals were killed within Israel by rockets fired by Palestinian organizations. A member of the Israeli security forces was killed by an anti-tank missile fired by a Palestinian organization.

When the fighting was over, B’Tselem’s field researchers in the Gaza Strip investigated the background of the victims, including collecting testimonies from friends and relatives. These gruesome personal accounts offer a glimpse into the sheer scale of the horror, giving voice to a reality in which Gazans had no way to defend themselves or escape the airstrikes. 

B’Tselem field researcher Olfat al-Kurd recounted the ordeal of traversing Gaza to collect the testimonies: “It was almost too much to bear. Mourners’ tents in every house and square. Demolished roads, collapsed infrastructure, towers and buildings wiped off the face of the earth, bits of furniture and clothes scattered everywhere. All that’s left is the sadness and depression enveloping everyone, and countless broken dreams.”

Eleven days of missiles raining down on civilian homes or nearby. With nowhere to run and no safe haven. Dozens killed, thousands injured, thousands more left without their homes and their entire earthly possessions. This is no mistake; these are no aberrations. It is a policy.

Click here to read the testimonies.