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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

ICRC president inflates Gaza's population density

We've long ago dismissed the old canard that "Gaza is the most crowded place on Earth."

Well, the ICRC president evidently just went really overboard. From Ma'an:
Kellenberger also said that the ICRC has “no evidence” of the use of white phosphorus, a chemical weapon that causes severe burning used in populated areas. On Tuesday a Red Cross official in Geneva told the Associated Press that it is “pretty clear” that Israel had used the weapon in Gaza, but said there was no evidence that this use violated international law.

Answering a question about the alleged use of white phosphorus, Kellenberger highlighted that Gaza is approximately three times more densely populated than Manhattan, making it more difficult to use certain weapons without harming civilians.
Whoa! Three times the density of Manhattan???

Let's do the math - again.


Population

Area (km2)

Density

Pop/km2

Gaza

1,500,202

360

4,167

Manhattan

1,537,195

58.8

26,143


If Gaza had three times Manhattan's population density - 78,428 people per square kilometer - it would contain over 28 million people!

Let's say that Kellenberger only meant Gaza City, not the larger Gaza Strip. Guess what? Even Gaza City only has a population density of 6,834 per square kilometer, about a quarter of Manhattan's.