On its Data page, it says "2,251 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians, were killed." Its footnote references the summary of the UNHCR report.
The UNHCR report, in turn, uses as its reference - the OCHA! "Data compiled by the OCHA Protection Cluster, 31 May 2015. For its methodology, seeA/HRC/28/80/Add.1, para. 24, footnote 43."
When you look in that reference, you see:
The Protection Cluster is the mechanism for coordinating humanitarian action by humanitarian organizations (UN and non-UN) working in the protection sector. It is one of several such sectoral clusters. OHCHR leads the Protection Cluster in OPT. For more on the cluster system, see www.ochaopt.org/content.aspx?id=1010056. OHCHR compiled figures on fatalities in its capacity as leader of the Protection Cluster. The methodology used involves the compilation of initial reports of fatalities from the media and other sources which are then crosschecked and verified in collaboration with a number of international, Palestinian and Israeli partner organizations. Where available, each individual’s name, age, sex and place of death is determined, as well as their status as a civilian or combatant where this can be determined. Multiple sources are cross-referenced, not only from media and various human rights organizations, but also information released by the IDF and by the Palestinian armed groups regarding the identity of combatants. Information from the Ministry of Health in Gaza is one, but not an exclusive, source of information. Verification of the information collected is continuing. Figures are published on the website of OCHA on behalf of the Protection Cluster.So we have OCHA referring to the Human Rights Council referring back to OCHA referring back to the statistics compiled by the Human Rights Council. It is a bit...incestuous.
And even though they publish this supposedly detailed description of their methodology, in the end it is all a scam. The UNHRC is the one that determines if someone is a militant or a civilian and it chooses which evidence to believe and which evidence to ignore.
Documentation of scores of "civilians" who turned out to be military targets have been published, both on this blog and from the Meir Amit ITIC. UNHRC is aware of the Meir Amit ITIC because they quote it in their Gaza report. But they choose to ignore its findings when compiling their statistics. (This is obvious because their numbers have not changed for at least six months while the ITIC has issued new reports.)
Which means that all of these footnotes are a smokescreen for the fact that the anti-Israel UNHRC is making up the statistics based on its own bias and using a spaghetti system of footnotes to obfuscate its methodology.
The UN is supposed to be transparent. As such, I call on the UNHRC Protection Cluster and OCHA to publish their list of the names of all the victims of the Gaza war with their sources and classification of the casualties as civilian or not. This would be necessary for independent researchers to see exactly how the UN's Protection Cluster does its work. And if they knew that they were being checked, they would be a lot more careful with their statistics.
They won't do this, of course, because they don't want people to find out that their methodology ,and therefore their statistics, are wrong, and that the truth exonerates Israel of many of their accusations.