Relatives of a Palestinian boy named Ahmed al-Misri, killed by an Israeli assault targeted on an agricultural land, mourn over his death body at a hospital in Deir Al Balah, Gaza on August 10, 2014. (Ramadan El-Agha - Anadolu Agency)
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In the grisly math of the Israel-Hamas war, conflicting counts of combatants and civilians killed in Gaza are emerging – with the ratio perhaps more important to shaping international opinion of the monthlong conflict than any final toll.The U.N. and rights groups operating in Gaza say about three-quarters of the around 1,900 Palestinians killed were civilians, including 450 children, with many perishing in strikes that killed several family members at a time.Israel estimates that between 40-50 percent of those killed in Gaza were fighters.In explaining the civilian casualties, Israel has accused Gaza fighters of launching attacks from crowded residential areas.As of Friday, the U.N.'s overall number of 1,939 killed is slightly higher than that of the Health Ministry in Gaza.The U.N. said nearly 73 percent of the total, or 1,407, were civilians, defined as those who didn't take part in hostilities and were not members of armed groups.The PCHR says anyone who is not effectively participating in a military operation is a civilian, including a Hamas fighter who is killed at home.In this war, four smaller groups, including Islamic Jihad, announced a total of 43 deaths, presumably a partial count.
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