According to a B’Tselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) report issued Thursday, the Israeli military killed 163 Palestinians in Gaza in July, 78 of whom (48 percent) were not fighters of members of resistance factions.

 Thirty-six of the fatalities were minors, and 20 were women. In the West Bank, 15 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in July.

The number of Palestinian fatalities in July was the highest in any month since April 2002. In one of the incidents B’Tselem investigated in Gaza over the past month, the organization has identified four cases in which Israel may have committed grave breaches of the laws of war.

A total of 15 Palestinian civilians were killed in these incidents, including 7 minors, the details of which are as follows:

Israeli Air Force missile hits group of youth on July 12, killing six; Mohammad Al ‘Asar, Ibrahim al Nabahin and Ibrahim Qatush, age 15, Ahmad Abu Hajjaj, age 16. Salah Abu Maktomah, age 17 and Hassan ‘Abeid, age 18.

Also, Israeli tanks fired missiles at residents killing four members of one family on July, 21, 2006. They were identified as Mohammad Hararah, 45, Sabah, 45, Amer, 23 and Mo’men, 16,   

B’Tselem also reported that an Israeli Air Force missile hit a horse-drawn cart killing a woman and her grandchild on 24 July 2006; the woman was identified as Khairiyya Al-‘Attar, 58 and her grandchild Nadi Al-‘Attar, 11, her other grandchild Shadi, 14, was injured.
Troops also fired shells that exploded next to a housing project killing three civilians on 24 July 2006; the three were identified as Saleh Naser, 14, Sadeq Naser, 33, and S’adi Na’im, 29.

B’Tselem added that it has requested the Judge Advocate General in Israel to order a Military Police investigation into the circumstances of these cases.

The army  id not issue a statement regarding any of these cases, nor acknowledge that these civilians had been killed, B’Tselem reported.

The residents were killed in spite the fact that they were unarmed, and were in residential apartments. According to B’Tselem’s investigation, there were no armed Palestinians or weapons stored in any of these locations.

Also, B’Tselem said that even if the Israeli army did not intend to kill the civilians, the attacks were carried out without taking in consideration that the shells areas are civilian and the soldiers did not verify that the “targets” were not civilian areas.  

B’Tselem also stated that it the condition of war, soldiers are forbidden to carry out an attack, even against military objects if the attack is liable to harm civilians.