The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #153638 Message #3650423
Posted By: Keith A of Hertford
12-Aug-14 - 11:18 AM
Thread Name: BS: BDS of Israel 'Gathering Weight.'
Subject: RE: BS: BDS of Israel 'Gathering Weight.'
BBC on Gaza casualty figures.
An analysis by the New York Times looked at the names of 1,431 casualties and found that "the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll. They are 9% of Gaza's 1.7 million residents, but 34% of those killed whose ages were provided."
"At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71% of the population and 33% of the known-age casualties."
Spokesman Capt Eytan Buchman told BBC News that "the UN numbers being reported are, by and by large, based on the Gaza health ministry, a Hamas-run organisation".
He said that part of the reason for the discrepancy between the figures was "when militants are brought to hospitals, they are brought in civilian clothing, obscuring terrorist affiliations".
"Hamas also has given local residents directives to obscure militant identities," he said.
"It's important to bear in mind that in Operation Cast Lead [the last Israeli ground offensive in December 2008-January 2009], Hamas and Gaza-based organisations claimed that only 50 combatants were killed, admitting years later the number was between 600-700, a figure nearly identical to the figure claimed by the IDF."
It should be said that while Hamas said only 50 fighters had been killed in 2008-09, some human rights groups operating in Gaza were reporting considerably higher figures.
The point is that it is hard to say with certainty at this stage how many of the dead in Gaza are civilians and how many were fighters. This is in no sense the fault of the UN employees collecting the figures - their statistics are accompanied by caveats and described as preliminary and subject to revision.
But it does mean that some of the conclusions being drawn from them may be premature.