Israeli soldiers stand on an armoured personnel carrier (APC) outside the central Gaza Strip as they fire a 120 mm mortar shell towards Gaza July 31, 2014.Reuters

Israeli human rights group B'Tsalem has said that most of the casualties during the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip were women, minors or elderly people. The group also said that some of the Israeli attacks violated the rules of war.

B'Tsalem said that one of the most "appalling hallmarks of the fighting" last summer was that Israeli air strikes targeted homes of innocent people. The group also noted that the arbitrary strikes were part of a policy by officials at the top levels of the government and the country's military.

"There is no question in our minds that this is not the outcome of a low-level decision, but rather a matter of policy, a policy that in some cases has violated international humanitarian law, in other cases raises severe questions" on Israel's policies, the group's director, Hegai El-Ad was quoted by Associated Press as saying.

""So far, there have not been explanations, convincing explanations, by the government of the state of Israel," he added.

In the war in July and August last year, hundreds of innocent people, including children lost their lives. Israeli attacks also destroyed thousands of buildings, including the only power plant of the territory. At least 223 schools in Gaza were hit by the strikes, including those run by the UN to protect the homeless.

During the month-long fighting, Israel is said to have launched at least 5,000 air strikes and fired many rounds of artillery into Gaza. On their part, Hamas militants reportedly fired about 4,300 rockets and mortar rounds into Israel.

B'Tsalem said that it studied 70 of those strikes in which at least three people were killed. According to their report, more than 70 percent of the total of 606 Palestinians who were killed in those 70 strikes, were minors, women or the elderly. 

The war claimed the lives of 2,200 Palestinians – most of them said to be civilians, according to UN estimates.

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