Israel has shown the greatest possible restraint and makes a determined effort to limit Palestinian casualties during its operations against Palestinian terrorists.
Whenever possible, the Israel Defense Forces respond to Palestinian violence in a directed manner, at carefully chosen specified targets, such as those planning terrorist attacks or launching rockets and mortars at Israel. IDF operations to root out terrorists and their infrastructure are consistent with the Israeli Government’s right and responsibility to defend Israel and its population from attack. The Israeli military seeks to prevent civilian casualties, in stark contrast to the Palestinian terrorist organizations’ goal of killing as many civilians as possible through terrorist and rocket attacks.
Israel has often had no option but to go into Palestinian population centers, since Hamas and other groups deliberately position themselves in densely populated areas and launched mortar shells and rockets at Israeli targets from residential areas.
Israel targets Palestinians who are directly engaged in anti-Israel violence and terrorism and who aim to kill and maim as many civilians as possible in their attacks. Tragically, innocent Palestinians have been caught in the crossfire. This is in contrast to Palestinian terrorist operations and rocket attacks which deliberately aim to kill as many civilians as possible.
In cases of military operations, the IDF, following its own internal ethics guidelines and rules of engagement, require its forces to make every effort to limit civilian casualties under very challenging conditions. Israel has enacted procedures to warn civilians who might be in neighborhoods and buildings where Israel is targeting terrorists operations.
In cases of Palestinian civilian casualties, Israel has a comprehensive investigative process to determine whether errors were made by its soldiers and if legal action should be taken.