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A Palestinian human rights organization has issued a report confirming
A Palestinian human rights organization has issued a report confirming that 1,434 people, mainly civilians, were killed in Gaza during Israel's three-week military operation in December-January.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) said that of the fatalities 960 were civilians, 239 were police officers, and 235 were fighters.

The report, released on Thursday, accused Israel of defying international law in indiscriminate attacks that failed to "distinguish between combatants and non-combatants."

"This claim is evidenced by the disproportionately high rate of death amongst the civilian population, when compared to that of resistance fighters. Israeli Occupation Forces also willfully violated the principle of distinction as a result of their illegal classification of law enforcement officials as combatants."

"Many of the cases documented by PCHR constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and war crimes. The widespread and apparently systematic violations of customary humanitarian law witnessed in the Gaza Strip may also amount to a crime against humanity."

Around 50,000 people were left homeless by the ground and air assault between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009. The offensive was launched in response to the firing of rockets at southern Israeli border towns by Palestinian militants.

The group said that "if the civilian population are to rebuild their lives and attempt to recover from the devastation wreaked on the Gaza Strip, then borders must be opened: aid and reconstruction material must be allowed into the Gaza Strip."


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