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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Hamas (finally!) caught fudging the numbers in Gaza.

Belatedly, a number of major media players are calling into question the veracity of the figures provided by the Hamas Ministry of Health and the UN’s presentation thereof, during the recent conflict.

An analysis by The New York Times revealed what Israeli bloggers had been pointing out for weeks: that a disproportionate percentage of the casualties were men of fighting age.

According to the article:

“The Times analysis, looking at 1,431 names, shows 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.”

Why were only 1,431 names examined? Didn’t over 2,000 die in Gaza? Well, maybe.  Hamas was also caught duplicating names on the list of casualties provided to the media and the UN, which themselves didn’t bother to check for such inconsistencies.

Not wanting to be left looking the fool, the BBC also quickly changed its tune, admitting that “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….In conclusion, we do not yet know for sure how many of the dead in Gaza are civilians and how many were fighters.”

The Washington Post had already noticed that something was awry much earlier, with one of its lead bloggers lamenting that “the media has engaged in journalistic malpractice by reporting casualty figures for civilians coming from Gaza as gospel.”

Much closer to reality is a detailed analysis by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center, which found that there was a rough 1:1 ration of combatants to civilian casualties in Gaza. If accurate, such a ratio would be unprecedented for modern urban warfare, and would speak highly of Israel’s efforts to avoid civilian casualties.

This video is also interesting - and relevant!  It is, allegedly, of a Hamas mass funeral.  However, even having worked, at one time, for an undertaker, I have never seen such lively corpses!!   Don't laugh - but remember this on any future occasion on which Israel is seen as 'the bad guy'!


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