Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So how many civilians were killed recently in Gaza?

Some great research by Lenny Ben-David at I-Consult:

There in the middle of a silly article about Justin Bieber's visit to Israel, The New York Times' Isabel Kershner goldstones Israel.  
"Last Thursday, a 16-year-old Israeli boy was critically wounded by an antitank missile fired by Hamas militants at a school bus in [SIC] Gaza. That triggered days of intense exchanges of fire, during which 18 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, were killed."
So how much is "about half" of 18?  How many dead civilians? Eight? Nine? Ten?

Actually, the real number of civilians killed is five.  It's relatively easy to find out just by looking at Arab sources in English.  And according to Arab sources, four were in close proximity to terrorists firing missiles at Israel. 

A list of the 18 dead can be found below and on the site of Muslim News. Next to the names, I identified them as "fighters" or "civilians."  That determination is based on linked articles in the Muslim News, the Palestinian Maan News Agency or Human Rights Watch. 

1. Mahmoud Al Manasra, 50, Al Shijaeyya. Civilian
2. Mohammad Al Mahmoum, 25, Rafah.  Fighter
3. Mosab Al Sufi, 18, Rafah.  Fighter
4. Saleh Al Tarabeen, 38, Rafah.  Fighter
5. Khaled Ad-Dabary, 23, Rafah.  Fighter
6. Mo’taz Abu Jame’, Khan Younis.  Fighter
7. Abdullah Al Qarra, Khan Younis.  Fighter
8. Nidal Qdeih, 21, Khan Younis.  Civilian
9. Najah Qdeih, 48, Khan Younis.  Civilian
10. Talal Abu Taha, 55, Khan Younis.  Civilian
11. Raed Shihada, 27, northern Gaza.  Fighter
12. Bilal Al ‘Ar’ir, 23, Al Shijaeyya.  Fighter
13. Mahmoud Al Jaro, 10, Al Shijaeyya.  Civilian
14. Ahmad Ghorab, northern Gaza.  Fighter
15. Mohammad Awaja, Rafah.  Fighter
16. Taiseer Abu Sneima, Rafah.  Fighter
17. Ahmad Al Zeitouniyya, northern Gaza.  Fighter
18. Zuheir Al Bir, Al Zeitoun neighborhood – Gaza.  Fighter

Isabel Kershner promises to research it further, but I can tell you where she got her information from: PCHR.

The same PCHR that determined that so many known militants were "civilians" in Cast Lead seems to be doing the same for those killed now.

PCHR writes:

A number of the artillery shells landed near three Palestinian civilians who were sitting near the Airport. Two of them were killed immediately and the third civilian died of his wounds on the evening of the same day. The dead are:

1. Mohammed Eyada Eid al-Mahmoum, 25;
2. Khaled Ismail Hamdan al-Dabari; 17;
3. Saleh Jarmi Ateya al-Tarabin, 38, who died of his wounds in Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis city.
We see immediately that all three were fighters according to Ma'an, and I quickly found and linked to the Hamas Al Qassam obituary page for one of them, al-Tarabin. (So far I found 7 obituaries from those two days, but Hamas does not always post them all immediately; some obituaries are posted years after they are killed.)

PCHR is again trying to inflate the number of "civilians" killed.