Palestinians suffered a dramatic increase in fatalities last year, with more killed by Israel in 2014 than any other annual period since the 1967 war nearly 50 years ago.
A new report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory found that, overall, Israel was responsible for 2,314 Palestinian deaths and 17,125 injuries last calendar year.
Entitled Fragmented Lives, the study concludes that Israel’s 50-day military assault on Gaza last summer was the most significant driver of casualties. Between July 7 and August 26, Israel killed at least 2,220 Palestinians and wounded 11,231 in the war. According to researchers, 1,492 of those killed were civilians, but the number could be far higher, as 123 are listed as unverified. At least 551 children are numbered among the dead.
When compared with Israeli deaths, the human toll is asymmetrical. The report notes that 71 Israelis, 66 of them soldiers, were killed, in addition to one foreign national.
But this high magnitude of human loss is not limited to Gaza.
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, “witnessed the highest number of Palestinian fatalities in incidents involving Israeli forces since 2007 and the highest number of Palestinian injuries since 2005, when OCHA began collecting data,” the report notes.
There was a drastic spike in child casualties specifically, as well as a a dramatic rise in Palestinian injuries, driven by a “sharp increase in the Israeli forces’ use of live ammunition.”
This trend appears to be continuing into 2015.
Earlier this week, Defence for Children International-Palestine reported that, in the first three months of this year, at least 30 children in the West Bank and East Jerusalem were shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces during protest, with several left in critical condition.