Caution Needed with Gaza Casualty Figures – Anthony Reuben
(dailyalert.org, Aug. 8, 2014)
In the Gaza conflict, most news organizations have been quoting from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on numbers of Palestinians killed. If the Israeli attacks have been “indiscriminate,” as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed three times as many civilian men as women.
IDF Spokesman Capt. Eytan Buchman said “the UN numbers being reported are, by and large, based on the Gaza health ministry, a Hamas-run organization.” He noted that “when militants are brought to hospitals, they are brought in civilian clothing, obscuring terrorist affiliations.” “Hamas also has given local residents directives to obscure militant identities.”
“It’s important to bear in mind that in Operation Cast Lead [in December 2008-January 2009], Hamas and Gaza-based organizations claimed that only 50 combatants were killed, admitting years later the number was between 600-700, a figure nearly identical to the figure claimed by the IDF.” The writer is head of statistics at BBC News. (BBC News)
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