Every week new reports are published on the number of civilians killed in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead. Again and again,
Abdullah Abdel Hamid Muammar, a 22-year-old student from the village of el-Nassar north of Rafah, was killed in Operation Cast Lead. So we are told by the official report of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR). This report contains details about the war casualties that purport to be accurate. The purpose is obvious: to prove to the whole world that most of the casualties were innocent civilians who were hurt by the bombing of the civilian population.
Many human rights organizations, including Amnesty, B'Tselem and Human Rights Watch (HRW), relied, in whole or in part, on the PCHR data, which turned Muammar into an innocent victim. But there's a problem with that. According to a publication issued by the Press Department of the Al Qassam Brigades, Muamar was a member of Hamas, and he appears in a picture on an Arabic website in which he is carrying a Qassam missile. This is also the case with many other "innocent civilians." They were terrorists. It turns out that, to discover that lie- which was just one of many - meticulous investigations were required. Dr. Tal Pavel of the
The various organizations announced that between 1,200 and 1,400 were killed in
According to Pavel's research, 564 of the dead were members of Hamas. All of them were honored, as fallen fighters, on Hamas websites. In addition to them, according to IDF investigations, about 100 Islamic Jihad members were killed. Assuming that other terrorists were killed, for example those belonging to Fatah, then most of the dead were not innocent civilians. And that's just the beginning.
The bombing of the
One of the most prominent events in the
Many long weeks passed before it was shown to be a libel. First, the three artillery shells did not hit the school at all. Second, Hamas people were firing from the area and the IDF aimed its fire at them. Third, the number of killed was far smaller than originally reported. Most of the media and human rights organizations that publicized the original news did not bother to publicize the information that was disclosed. Those who are infatuated with libel are not prepared to be confused by the facts.
There were still many killed who are not identified as fighters. That is also worth investigating. If the IDF strike lacked discernment, the demographic breakdown of the casualties (erroneously called "uninvolved civilians") should have been identical to the demographic breakdown of the general population. However, a different picture emerges. A quarter of the population are adolescent girls. Actually, 8% of those killed were adolescent girls. A quarter of the population are adult women. Only 14% of those killed were women. The higher percentage of male casualties – much higher than their proportion of the population – proves that among them were a higher percentage of men involved in the fighting. In other words, the percentage of civilian casualties was dramatically smaller than the claims made against
It is interesting to note the behavior of the armies of western countries when they had to conduct a similar war. Let's assume that there is no comparison with the World War II Allied bombing of
Because there, the policemen were actually policemen, and in
The Israeli media, which publicized the stories of soldiers from the pre-military preparatory course - which turned out to be rumors and outright fabrications - did not publish the results of the serious investigations below. On the contrary. An editorial by Ha'aretz stated that it involved the "criminal killing of dozens of policemen…knowing that these policemen were nothing but enforcers of civilian order." Hamas is snickering. They publicize pictures of the "policemen" armed with Qassams, and Ha'aretz calls them "enforcers of civil order." The West reads Ha'aretz in English, not Hamas in Arabic. So sometimes, when Ha'aretz is around, Hamas does not need a propaganda department.
Even when this research was available, no one bothered to make corrections. On the contrary. The hara-kiri continues. The media, in
Prof. Arnold Toynbee, who was no friend of Israel, wrote in one of his books, "In the history of man's endeavors to develop culture, there has never been a society whose progress and cultural level were so advanced that in time of revolution or war, its members could be depended upon not to commit evil acts." That is true of
Ben-Dror Yemini is a researcher and a columnist in Maariv, daily newspaper