The battle is still going on about Gaza casualty figures during the recent fifty day conflict between Palestinian terrorism led by Hamas, and Israel.
Israel detractors are still using slogans, purportedly based on Gaza casualty figures, to bash Israel. We heard it spouted by Mahmoud Abbas at the UN podium. We confront it on campus, in meetings, and on the social media. It simply won’t go away. The fraud keeps churning off the conveyor belt of lies.
During the conflict and after, I extensively researched and reviewed casualty figures with a view to checking media and propaganda claims that the majority of casualty figures were civilian, mainly women and children.
I refused to use Israeli-based statistics. Instead, I logged in to figures put out by the Ministry of Health in Gaza. This is hardly a Zionist organization. On the contrary, it is a Hamas-controlled bureaucracy.
At the outset of the conflict they published daily listings of casualties giving names, ages, and where they were killed. Later, they revised their reports by not giving names and locations but simply groupings such as children, females, and elderly. It is interesting to note that their children’s group included people up to the age of 18.
It is worth noting that some of the Palestinian terrorists killed or captured by Israel’s IDF were younger than eighteen. One terrorist, caught as he came out of a terror attack tunnel inside Israel, was aged 16. Obeida Fadhel Mohammad Abu Hweishel, was listed by the Palestinian Health Ministry as aged 24 to hide the fact that this nine-year-old was exploited by his uncle,
In its attempt at concealment Hamas listed a number of terrorist men as children. One, listed as a 13 year old boy, was 26 year old Fatah terrorist, Ibrahim Jamal Kamal Nasr, killed at Khan Yunis on July 18. So the Gazan Ministry of Health children’s casualty group should be taken with skepticism.
My findings throughout the research clearly showed the majority of casualties to be men of fighting age. Clearly, not all men of fighting age were terrorists but they constituted a majority of over 56% of known casualties, and not the women or children.
Out of a total of 2130, less than a thousand were children, women, or elderly.
My findings are being confirmed by the slow, methodical, work being undertaken by the Meir Amit Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center. As of September 22, they had plodded through 750 names in an effort to identify and link them with a terrorist faction in Gaza.
According to their identified people almost 50% were tied to a terrorist group. As they research later figures I am certain that their percentages of terrorists dead will increase to match my figures, or surpass them, as later fighting was concentrated in areas where the civilian population had fled.
Their final figures will echo my own in that more terrorists were killed in Gaza than civilians, but even if the figure will be one terrorist to one civilian this is infinitely a superior, moral, ratio than terrorist/civilian casualty rations in other recent conflicts.
As Colonel Richard Kemp, former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, told me, the ratio in his theater of conflict in Afghanistan was three civilian deaths for every terrorist, despite the precautions taken by British, American, and other coalition forces. In Iraq, he said, the ratio was worse – four civilians for every terrorist. In Russia’s fight in Chechnya the ratio was six civilians for every terrorist.
So factually, statistically, Israel’s IDF have proven to be the most moral fighting force in military history.
Let not those, who bandy around worthless slogans, be allowed to denigrate Israel when it comes to the fight against extremist terror in urban warfare zones.
Barry Shaw is the consultant on delegitimization issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College. He is also the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’ www.israelnarrative.com Also available in ebook format on Amazon.