Yeah, but would the truth sell papers?
International media outlets, including The New York Times and the BBC, have raised serious questions regarding Gaza civilian casualty figures as recorded by health officials both in the Strip and abroad.
The outlets maintain that the hard data does not support the notion that the Israel Defense Forces is engaged in “indiscriminate” killing of unarmed residents in the Palestinian enclave, as was suggested by several international leaders over the past month.
Citing figures released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the BBC’s head of statistics Anthony Reuben found that the number of civilian men killed in the fighting outnumbered the number of women by a factor of nearly 3.5:1. According to the UN, 725 men were killed in the conflict as opposed to 214 women. When the 216 confirmed “members of armed groups” were included in the figures, the disparity grew even larger. Israeli military officials said 750-1,000 Hamas and other gunmen had been killed in the fighting as of Tuesday, August 5.
“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,” Reuben noted dryly.
I emphasized the word civilian because I think most of them were anything but. As the New York Times concedes:
The question echoes a New York Times analysis from earlier this week, which showed “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.”
Sorry, you Jew-hating human rights wonks, but you have been hoist by your own petard:
The death-toll statistics may constitute decisive evidence that, contrary to the claims of organizations such as the UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch, and others, civilians were not the targets of Israel’s strikes in the Strip. Deliberate targeting of civilians would amount to war crimes under both international and Israeli law. Israel has stressed that it is seeking to avoid civilian casualties as it tackles Hamas rockets and tunnels, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday the international community should hold Hamas responsible for all Gaza civilian deaths since it uses Gaza civilians as “human shields” for its terrorist infrastructure.
Now, where again did the BBC (hardly friendly to Israel in the best of times) get their data?
“Citing figures released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights…”
How can the UN accuse Israel of war crimes when their own data proved the smear just another blood libel. But as Mark Twain (might have) said: “A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
Conflicting reports concerning the mysterious death of a senior Hamas official surfaced Thursday, three days after his mangled body was said to have been uncovered in the ruins of the battered Shejaiya neighborhood, in the northeastern Gaza Strip.
While initial reports stated that Ayman Taha, a former spokesman for the Gaza-based terror organization, had been killed during an Israeli airstrike in the embattled coastal enclave, Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported that he was executed by a Hamas firing squad earlier this week for allegedly maintaining contact with intelligence services in Arab countries, and specifically in Egypt.
Taha, according to Al-Quds, was shot several times in the head and chest. His body was later transferred to the Shifa hospital. Hamas initially barred the incident from publication until Thursday, when the information was released.
All we know for sure is he’s dead. Very dead.
The rest is not so clear:
Sources in the Gaza Strip said on Thursday that Taha was executed because Hamas feared he might implicate some of its leaders in many corruption scandals. “The man knew too much about the senior leaders of Hamas.”
The international media, for its part, will simply endorse the Hamas story because it is more convenient to blame Israel than to get into trouble with a radical Islamist movement that carries out extra-judicial executions.