Sunday, January 18, 2009

Is Israel targeting Gaza Civilians?‏

Henry Wyle (
Sent: Sun 1/18/09 9:40 AM

Dear friends,

Hamas and Islamicists worldwide (and much of the media) have been strongly emphasizing the horrendous injury done to innocent Palestinian civilians by Israel’s current Gaza campaign of “indiscriminate” and “disproportionate” attacks. Hamas and the Islamicists have made the further claim that Israel has been deliberately targeting civilians. I would like to bring to your attention the numbers that show these assertions cannot possibly be true.
Of the approximately 1,000 Palestinian deaths caused by Israel’s campaign, Israel claims that 3/4 have been Hamas militants. Hamas claims that 3/4 have been civilians. The truth is presumably somewhere in between (that is, between 75% and 25% military). Gaza has a population of about 1.5M. Their military has been estimated to be in the neighborhood of 10,000. Even if that estimate is wrong, it is not likely to be more than several times that because Hamas does not need a large military force for its style of fighting: training suicide bombers, and manufacturing and firing rockets.

Therefore if Israel were indiscriminately attacking Gaza’s inhabitants, the proportion of military Palestinian casualties would be somewhere between 0.7% and 3.3% (depending on whether we assume a Hamas military force of 10,000 or say, 50,000). But in fact the proportion of military Palestinian casualties has been somewhere between 75% and 25%, depending on whether we believe the Israelis or Hamas.

This shows that, in spite of the dense population of Gaza, and in spite of the admitted Hamas policy of using hospitals, schools and mosques as shields for their military, and in spite of the fact that Hamas military personnel live with their families in civilian areas, Israel has been doing an incredible job of targeting Hamas military. It shows that Israel has taken extraordinary pains to spare innocent civilian life, given the necessity of destroying Hamas’ military capability. And it shows once again that Hamas (and negligently gullible media worldwide who accept reports from their Palestinian representatives in Gaza at face value) cannot be relied on for truthful reporting of the conflict.

Best wishes,

Henry Wyle

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