Sunday, January 4, 2015

General Martin Dempsey: Israel has gone to "extraordinary lengths" to limit civilian casualties in Gaza

Several months ago,  at an appearance in New York at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs Army General Martin Dempsey, the highest-ranking US military officer  and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declared that Israel  had gone to "extraordinary lengths" to limit civilian casualties in the war with Gaza .

Israel has faced unrelenting criticism for civilian deaths during the conflict. Over than 2,100 Palestinians were reportedly killed.

Recent research from the Meir Amit  Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center suggest that suggest that terrorist operatives constitute about 52% of the fatalities who have been identified, and non-involved civilians constitute approximately 48%. This ratio may vary in the future, as more information is uncovered.

As of the last report, 

* 528 of those killed in Gaza in Operation protective Edge were terrorist operatives.
* 480 of those killed were non-involved civilians.
* 157 of those killed are unidentified at this stage. 

An earlier analysis of  Gaza deaths during Operation Protective Edge indicated that over:

80% of Gazans killed so far have been male, with almost half of these males being in the 18-28 age group. One can imagine many of these being “combatants.” A further 20% of these males are between 29 and 48, an age group one could envisage may also contain many Hamas members.

If Israel were deliberately targeting civilians, the gender ratio would be significantly closer to 50/50.

For those in need of a refresher course: Operation Protective Edge by the numbers:

For 50 days, armed groups in Gaza fired 4,564 projectiles at Israel.
3,659 rocket and mortar impact sites were found
Of those that struck in Israel, 224 hit built-up areas.
735 were shot down by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
197 “failed launchings” – projectiles that never left the Gaza Strip or that did not launch at all.

In spite of hostilities, humanitarian aid continued to flow to Gaza

959 tons of medicine and medical supplies entered the Strip 
5,359 trucks carrying goods entered Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

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