24 July 2014
How Many Civilian Casualties in Gaza?At the time of writing, it is reported that over 800 civilians in Gaza have been killed in the current conflict with Israel. But is this true? Where did these figures come from? Are they reliable?
The short answer is that the figures come from Hamas and they are not reliable. They have been deliberately distorted. This is how.
In the first place, a directive from the Hamas Interior Ministry instructed spokesmen to report that ALL casualties are civilian. Further, they are instructed not to show pictures of rockets being fired from civilian areas. This can easily be confirmed by reference to the stalwart translation work of Memri.org.
Secondly, from Hamas sources Al-Jazeera has compiled a list of what it says are civilians killed. This shows that male deaths were over 80% of the total. Even more indicative, those men between the ages of 18 and 38 were over 65% of the total. This means that deaths among men of fighting age are disproportionately high.
Thirdly, the policy of Hamas to use civilians as human shields has contributed ....