Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Data Confirms that the IDF is NOT Indiscriminately Targeting Civilians

New York Times, BBC stats show “that some of the conclusions being drawn [from death-toll figures] may be premature”

By: Daniel Koren

Published: August 8th, 2014 in News » World

Data Confirms that the IDF is NOT Indiscriminately Targeting Civilians

Since the start of Operation Protective Edge on July 8th, Hamas health representatives have been spreading news, which other media outlets have picked up, that the IDF indiscriminately targets women and children during their air strikes, and ground invasion, in Gaza.

The IDF have repeatedly stated that this is not true, and that, in fact, they do everything in their power to limit civilian casualties (something unprecedented in modern warfare) handing out leaflets, sending text messages, and other ways to alert Gazans of an impending strike.

Alas, with roughly over 2,000 Gazans killed, the reports of Israelis killing women and children has been Hamas’ biggest victory in the propaganda war, with rallies and demonstrations all over the world ostracizing and condemning Israel for such brutality, before actually being presented with hard evidence.

Earlier this week, French senator Nathalie Goulet, for example, promoted a harsh anti-Israel campaign that sees leaders like Netanyahu and Peres killing innocent Disney characters. “Very powerful campaign against children mass murder,” she wrote.

Not to say that one crime begets another, but Goulet neglected to mention how Hamas sent 160 children to their deaths during the construction of the secret tunnels, or that the IDF have found a Hamas combat manual that instructs Hamas militants to use human shields, including children.

While Hamas has continued to spread false information about the Israeli operation – Netanyahu spokesman Ofir Gendelman has called their stats and figures ‘propaganda’ – some media outlets, including the BBC and the New York Times, have questioned if the Gaza civilian tallies have been accurate.

They say that, actually, according to the data they’ve calculated, the IDF does not engage in “indiscriminate” killings against unarmed Palestinian civilians.

Head of statistics for BBC, Anthony Reuben, found that, contrary to information presented by Hamas health officials, the number of civilian Gazan men outnumber the number of women by 3.5:1

“If the Israeli attacks have been ‘indiscriminate,’ as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women,” said Reuben.

The New York Times ran a similar analysis, showing “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 percent of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34 percent 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 percent of the population and 33 percent of the known-age casualties.”

Of course, both statistics do not condone the death of women and children in Gaza, but simply, according to Reuben, show “that some of the conclusions being drawn [from death-toll figures] may be premature.”

Such evidence disputes former accusations from the UN Human Rights Council and Human Rights Watch that civilians, in fact, are not targets of the IDF. Israel, as its stressed before, does not target civilians as it does its best to battle Hamas militants. On Wednesday, Netanyahu reiterated that the international community should hold Hamas responsible for civilian deaths as they use Gazan residents as human shields.

As a recent video shot by NDTV journalist Sreenivasan Jain shows, Hamas set up their rockets in densely populated civilian areas, areas ripe with small children, and located very close to UN housing buildings.

Health officials from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip have said that approximately 1,867 Palestinians have died since the war began, most of them civilians – they say 75%. An Israeli military spokesman has since said that those numbers were false, and that 900-1000 of those killed were members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad.

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