Reporting the Gaza Death Toll

(Washington Post) Paul Farhi - How many people have been killed in Gaza since the conflict began in early July? And who are the dead? Supporters of Israel say the raw casualty numbers coming from Gaza are suspect, both in size and in composition. They assert that the Hamas-controlled health ministry and pro-Palestinian NGOs inflate and distort the figures to poison world opinion about Israel. Unlike conflicts in Libya, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, Israel's military campaign is taking place amid intense Western media coverage. As of Monday, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said that 1,888 Palestinians had died in Gaza since July 8. But how many of those killed are Hamas fighters? And how many people have died from errant rocket fire from within Gaza by Hamas itself. An Israeli government official said about half of those killed have been Hamas combatants, and the number could rise once Israeli intelligence sources vet all the names of those killed. This is consistent with what Israeli officials found in investigations after Israel's operations in Gaza in 2008-2009 and 2012.

2014-08-05 00:00:00

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