CA­SU­ALTY COUNT: A FIGHT FOR TRUTH

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

THE Meir Amit In­tel­li­gence and Ter­ror­ism In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter (ITIC), which has close ties to the IDF, has been keep­ing its own tally of those killed in Gaza.

As of Au­gust 3 at noon, they counted 1,438 Pales­tini­ans killed. Ac­cord­ing to the ITIC, this con­sists of: 1) 407 ter­ror­ist op­er­a­tives (222 Ha­mas op­er­a­tives, 123 PIJ op­er­a­tives, 62 op­er­a­tives from other ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions). 2) 452 non-in­volved Pales­tini­ans. 3) 589 Pales­tini­ans whose iden­tity is not yet known.

Ac­cord­ing to these fig­ures, 47 per cent of the known ca­su­al­ties are ter­ror­ists.

At roughly the same time, the UN counted 1,717 Pales­tini­ans killed. The dif­fer­ence in count of over 270 is fairly sig­nif­i­cant. The UN does not pub­lish a list of the dead (nei­ther does ITIC) so it is not easy to iden­tify the sources of the dis­crep­an­cies. But we do have a few ed­u­cated guesses.

Dur­ing Cast Lead, the num­ber of peo­ple who were re­ported of dy­ing nat­u­ral deaths in Gaza plum­meted. It seems likely that many peo­ple who died nat­u­rally in Gaza over the past month were moved over to the “mar­tyr” cat­e­gory.

There have been re­ports of Ha­mas killing col­lab­o­ra­tors, and un­ver­i­fied ac­counts of Ha­mas killing demon­stra­tors. Be­yond that, there are clearly peo­ple who were killed by Ha­mas rock­ets or ex­plo­sions.

We have also seen quite few peo­ple dou­ble-counted, or even triple-counted, although it is un­clear whether the UN list in­cludes those. (The UN count is about 50 fewer than the Ha­mas Health Min­istry count.)

Once the names are re­leased, it seems very un­likely that jour­nal­ists in Gaza would en­dan­ger them­selves to re­search the cir­cum­stances be­hind ev­ery dis­puted death. It also seems un­likely that the IDF fig­ures, which have been found to be ac­cu­rate (as much as could be de­ter­mined) in the past, will be given the same at­ten­tion as the UN or Ha­mas fig­ures.

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