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Major Media Sources Cast Doubt on Hamas Claims

Embassy of Israel, Wellington

Friday 15 August 2014

Major Media Sources Cast Doubt on Hamas Claims

1. Discrimination: The evidence collected so far about casualties in the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge contradicts claims made by Hamas and various human rights organizations that the IDF attacks were “indiscriminate” and that the vast majority of those killed were innocent civilians.

2. Age and sex of dead: Findings published in Israel and abroad show that a large number of those killed were armed militants or males of fighting age. They also show that the proportion of young men among those killed is much higher than their relative number in the population.

a. A breakdown of the casualties published by the New York Times (see link below), based on figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, reveals that of the 1,431 killed during the operation that were examined, the most prominent group consisted of men aged 20-29. The names in this group constitute 34% of those killed, although their proportion of the population is only 9%.

b. Another finding is that women, children under 15 and men over 60, who together constitute 71% of the general population, made up about 33% of those killed.

c. The BBC (see link below) conducted its own analysis based on the figures of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which counted 1,948 dead. According to their analysis, three times as many men civilians (709) as women (237) were killed. The BBC counted an additional 226 terror activists who were not included in the number of male civilians. The BBC raised doubts about the accuracy of the claim that the shooting was “indiscriminate”, mainly in light of the enormous gap between male and female dead.

d. An analysis performed by CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) of those killed between 8 and 26 July reveals a similar picture. The breakdown of the dead shows that, while the proportion in the population of males aged 17-30 is about 10%, their proportion among the dead was 44%. This population is clearly identified with Gaza’s armed militants.

3. To these analyses must be added the examinations and analyses of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), which has so far done a breakdown of 300 of the dead. An examination of the names reveals that about 50% of them are known to be terrorists.

Some additional important facts:

• The Hamas-controlled Ministry of the Interior in the Gaza Strip issued an announcement warning the Palestinians not to divulge information about terrorist operatives ("resistance" casualties) killed during Operation Protective Edge and to refer to them as “innocent civilians.”

• The numbers of dead come from statistics published by the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip.

• Various accounts indicate that the Hamas count of the dead includes people who died during this period of natural causes or through domestic violence or who were executed by Hamas as collaborators.

• The IDF estimates that the number of militants among the dead stands at 900 or more.

• IDF figures have in the past proven to be reliable: in Operation Cast Lead, the IDF estimated that 700 of the dead were Hamas members, while Hamas claimed to have only 50 dead. A few years later Hamas admitted that 600-700 of its members were killed in the operation.

ENDS

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