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Caution needed with Gaza casualty figures

August 8, 2014 · 

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War zones are not easy places to collect statistics.

 

Most news organisations have been quoting figures from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which leads a group of humanitarian organisations known as the Protection Cluster.

 

Its recent report said that as of 6 August, 1,843 Palestinians had been killed and 66 Israelis and one Thai national since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July.

 

Of those Palestinians, the status of 279 could not be identified, at least 1,354 were civilians, including 415 children and 214 women, the UN body reported.

 

So there were 216 members of armed groups killed, and another 725 men who were civilians. Among civilians, more than three times as many men were killed as women, while three times as many civilian men were killed as fighters.

 

The UN report carries a caveat with its figures: “Data on fatalities and destruction of property is consolidated by the Protection and Shelter clusters based on preliminary information, and is subject to change based on further verifications.”

 

Nonetheless, 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.

 

 

 

 
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28688179

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