With the highest number of Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces in a single month since the end of the “Cast Lead” offensive, the violent repression of demonstrators by Hamas security forces in Gaza, the killing of an Israeli settler family and a subsequent wave of settler attacks against Palestinians and their property throughout the West Bank, the events of March 2011 continued to point to the heightened vulnerability of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory.
In Gaza, a one-week cycle of attacks and counter-attacks characterized by intense Israeli air strikes and shelling, and increased Palestinian rocket and mortar fire into southern Israel, resulted in the deaths of 15 Palestinians, including six civilians and the injury of 47 civilians, as well as the injury of three Israelis civilians. Human rights organizations have raised concerns that a number of the attacks by both sides resulting in civilian injuries and deaths were indiscriminate and therefore unlawful under international human rights law (IHL). Another concern relates to the continuous storage of weaponry and explosives in or in the vicinity of residential areas by Palestinian armed factions exposing the civilian population to Israeli attacks against these military targets.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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