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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Israel's Gaza civilian to military kill ratio much lower than NATO's in Serbia

In an op-ed in Thursday's Boston Globe, Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the US, discusses the number of civilian casualties caused by Operation Cast Lead.
Despite Hamas’s cynical use of civilians as human shields, the Israel Defense Forces repeatedly called off operations deemed too dangerous to civilian populations and endangered its own troops by warning Palestinian neighborhoods of impending attacks. Yet even the most moral army can make mistakes, especially in dense urban warfare; for every Serbian soldier killed by NATO in 1999, for example, four civilians died. By comparison, more than half of the Palestinian casualties in Gaza were military. Still, Israel launched investigations into some 100 cases of alleged misconduct by its soldiers, 23 of which continue. If found guilty, as one soldier already has been, the perpetrators will be brought to justice under Israel’s internationally respected legal system.
I'll bet many of you who are not news junkies didn't know that the military to civilian kill ratio was 1:4 in Serbia as compared with 1:less than 1 in Gaza.

But of course, Oren is using the Israeli figures of who is a civilian and who is a terrorist, since they are by far the most reliable. What's more amazing is that even had he accepted the Hamas figures, the ratio would still have been less than 1:4. And I doubt that anyone in the West would accuse the US military of deliberately perpetrating a massacre.

The fact that the IDF's civilian kill ratio was much lower than other Western armies is something that needs to be stressed in the media in the post-Goldstone Report period.

The picture at the top is an example of a terrorist whom Hamas classified as a civilian. You can find out more about him here.


At 11:54 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The thing is Goldstone cleared NATO but convicted Israel.



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