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Israeli settlements have been dumping untreated waste directly into a sewage canal that runs through the occupied West Bank, affecting Palestinian villages along its banks.
The hazard posed is compounded by the dumping of toxic chemical waste on agricultural land, with villagers reporting a rash of skin diseases and respiratory problems.
Human Rights Watch says that the Israel Defense Forces used Palestinian civilians as human shields during the 2002 Battle of Jenin.
The UN announcement that 51 civilians have died in the conflict in Gaza must be understood in the context of Hamas's declared ideology to use civilians as human shields for Hamas fighters. Indeed, Hamas continues to emphasize and promote the religious ideology that death for Allah is an ideal to be actively pursued.