Civilians account for 90% of casualties in conflicts like the Gaza War, according to a new report.
More than 60 children were murdered in the Gaza conflict, which ended late last week with a cease-fire after several days of intense combat.
According to the Associated Press, the Gaza Health Ministry claimed that at least 230 Palestinians killed and hundreds more were injured during the 11-day fighting, while at least 12 Israelis killed. The number of children slain indicates the enormous toll citizens pay in modern-day armed engagements, even though it is uncertain how many of the dead and wounded were civilians.
According to a recent research by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), civilians account for 91 percent of those killed or injured when explosive weapons are used in densely populated areas.
The study, which used English-language media reports of civilian deaths and injuries from 2011 to 2020, urges members of the International Network on Explosive Weapons to stop using explosive weapons in areas where civilians are expected to be present, such as densely populated areas.
“This concept that you can have so many airstrikes in populous places and not kill people is utterly ludicrous,” said AOAV Executive Director Iain Overton.
Overton claims that the use of targeted military strikes since the Gulf War has reinforced the assumption that intelligent weapons systems may help militaries avoid killing or injuring civilians.
“However, the proof isn’t in the pudding,” he added. “People are being slaughtered in the streets.”
Civilians die in wars all the time. Overton, though, believes there is a distinction to be made between civilians who die as a result of the stress violent conflicts inflict on local communities and civilians now who are frequently in the line of fire.
According to a United Nations (UN) estimate of twentieth-century war trends, civilians accounted for around half of all casualties reported during military wars between 1900 and 1950. By the 1980s, the figure had risen to 74 percent, and it had continued to rise throughout the 1990s.
“The tremendous death of civilian populations is owing, in great part, to the fact that today’s wars are fought primarily within countries rather than between them,” the research stated. “Villages and streets have been turned into battlegrounds. Hospitals and churches, among other traditional sanctuaries, have become targets. Armed confrontations are common. This is a condensed version of the information.