RAMALLAH, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian group said on Tuesday that Israeli gunfire killed 149 Palestinians in 2019, mostly in the Gaza Strip.
The number of Palestinians slain by Israeli gunfire or shelling in 2019 is 149, of whom 112 are from the Gaza Strip and 37 from the West Bank, said Mohammed Sbeihat, secretary general of the National Gathering of Palestinian Martyrs' Families.
Funeral of 4-month-old Palestinian baby Maria who was killed by Israeli airstrikes, 6 May, 2019 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
The majority of the killed Palestinians were in their early 20s, he said, adding Israeli authorities are still withholding 15 bodies of them as a sort of punishment to their families.
"The number of slain children reached 33, which is about 23 percent of the total death toll, and represents an increase of five percent compared to 2018," Sbeihat noted.
A total of 12 Palestinian women were killed by Israeli gunfire, he added.
"The bloodiest month of the year was November, during which 44 Palestinians were killed," said Sbeihat.
In the past five years, 807 Palestinians were killed by Israel, with an average of about 161 each year, according to the Palestinian group.
The group is a governmental body that provides social care for families of Palestinians killed by Israelis since 1967.