Civilian casualties during a time of war are very regrettable, and for the most part, unavoidable. What makes it even more frustrating is when the enemy cares little for the safety of its own, –not to mention civilians on the other side– thereby thumbing its nose at the Geneva Conventions that govern warfare. Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz writes in the Front Page Mag:
Under the leadership of Eliezer Shkedi, the current head of the Israeli air force, Israel has dramatically reduced the number of civilian deaths, by developing greater technical proficiency and by forgoing attacks when the risk of civilian deaths is too high. This is the way this improvement was recently reported in Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper known for its criticism of targeted killings:
Lately, the thwartings have indeed become more worthy of the title “pinpointed.” In all the attacks of recent weeks, only gunmen were hurt, as confirmed by Palestinians. The rate of civilians hurt in these attacks in 2007 was 2-3 percent. The IDF has come a long way since the dark days of 2002-2003, when half the casualties in air assaults on the Gaza Strip were innocent bystanders.
The attacks fall into three main categories: targeting specific known terrorists; targeting Qassam rocket-launching cells en-route or in action; and punitive bombardments of Hamas outposts, in response to rocket or mortar fire into Israel.
Unfair critics of Israel cannot have it both ways. In claiming that Israel indiscriminately kills Palestinian civilians while condemning it for targeting Palestinian terrorists, they show themselves to be nothing more than experts in hypocritical cynicism. I have more than once defended the practice of targeted killings of Palestinian terrorists, and that Israel does indeed take extreme care in not harming innocent civilians. This is something that should be taken notice of by the international media. More here. *L* KGS