Jenin Redux: Casualty Figures Reconsidered

In a piece I meant to comment on, Stephanie Gutmann warned against taking the figures of casualties provided by Hamas at face value. Now we have an anonymous comment by a doctor from Shiffa hospital that confirms her (widely ignored) cautionary advice. (H/T: Harris)

Gazan doctor says death toll inflated
Physician at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital tells Italian newspaper number of dead in Israeli offensive ‘stands at no more than 500 or 600, most of them youths recruited to Hamas’ ranks’
Nir Magal
Latest Update: 01.22.09, 15:18 / Israel News

What really is behind the numbers reported on the number of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip? Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported Thursday that a doctor working in Gaza’s Shifa Hospital claimed that Hamas has intentionally inflated the number of casualties resulting from Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.

“The number of deceased stands at no more than 500 to 600. Most of them are youths between the ages of 17 to 23 who were recruited to the ranks of Hamas, who sent them to the slaughter,” according to the newspaper article.

The doctor wished to remain unidentified, out of fear for his life.

A senior Palestinian Health Ministry official later denied the claims, and the IDF estimate on the number of casualties in Gaza has also remained unchanged.

A Tal al-Hawa resident told the newspaper’s reporter, “Armed Hamas men sought out a good position for provoking the Israelis. There were mostly teenagers, aged 16 or 17, and armed. They couldn’t do a thing against a tank or a jet. They knew they are much weaker, but they fired at our houses so that they could blame Israel for war crimes.”

The reporter for the Italian newspaper also quoted reporters in the Strip who told of Hamas’ exaggerated figures, “We have already said to Hamas commanders – why do you insist on inflating the number of victims?”

These same reporters mentioned that the truth that will come out is likely to be similar to what occurred in Operation Defensive Shield in Jenin. “Then, there was first talk of 1,500 deaths. But then it turned out that there were only 54, 45 of which were armed men,” the Palestinian reporters told the Italian newspaper.

These new figures must be treated with caution especially in light of the fact that various official sources in the Gaza Strip, including United Nations and Red Cross officials, have reported that more than 1,300 people were killed and some 5,000 wounded during the three weeks of fighting in the coastal strip. Palestinian sources claim that three-quarters of the dead were unarmed civilians.

This is a strange formulation that can only be made by people still operating under the “halo effect” of Human Rights NGOs, as if the UN and the Red Cross, as it operates in the Gaza Strip, are independent organizations when it comes to such figures.

Hamas, while boasting on having Israeli soldiers by the dozens, a number that has proven to be exaggerated, claimed that no more than 48 of its members were killed during the Israeli offensive. According to IDF figures, Hamas lost hundreds of fighters from its ranks.

The UN’s humanitarian chief began a tour of the Gaza Strip on Thursday to examine the extent of the devastation left behind by the Israeli offensive.

John Holmes said the number of casualties is “extremely shocking.” He also urged Israel to conduct a thorough investigation into shelling attacks that damaged UN buildings in Gaza.

Holmes said he was thinking about immediate humanitarian needs and longer-term reconstruction. He said the biggest concerns are providing clean water, sanitation, electricity and shelter.

Holmes added that Gaza’s border crossings would have to be opened to allow reconstruction materials into the area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nothing will stop the self-appointed guardians of public morality from the appointed rounds. Perhaps, before anyone tours Gaza, they should make a mandatory visit to Congo, or Sudan, to have a reality check on what is “extremely shocking.”

The implications of this disparity — including the willingness of Israelis to use Hamas-supplied statistics — are immense. Most of the moral outrage was generated precisely by those figures. Apologies anyone?

27 Responses to Jenin Redux: Casualty Figures Reconsidered

  1. Dimitry Papkov says:

    The IDF actually still sticks to the 1100-1200 number of casualties. They say over two thirds were Hamas operatives and that their initial assesment that suggested higher civillian casualties was wrong because a lot of Hamas operatives left their houses in civillian clothes and without weapons

  2. E.G. says:

    “The IDF’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration has already compiled a list with 900 names of Palestinians killed during the operation, out of which 750 are believed to be Hamas operatives.”

    IDF denies report that no more than 600 people died in Gaza

  3. E.G. says:

    The apologies should come from those who described the fighting as “massacre” and other Shoah terminology. The Hamas abuses and terrorises the Gaza population – and their “brothers” know it.

  4. Solomonia says:

    Gaza Doctor: Death toll in Gaza was 500 or 600 at the most, mainly youths…who were enlisted by Hamas…

    The incredible shifting death-toll — and how is one to classify a "civilian" when a "uniform" consists of an AK-47 and a t-shirt? …Palestinian civilians, meanwhile, have accused Hamas of forcing them to stay in homes from which g…

  5. oao says:

    as if the UN and the Red Cross, as it operates in the Gaza Strip, are independent organizations when it comes to such figures.

    the orgs operating in gaza KNOW they are not independent, they know what will happen to them if they counter hamas claims or reveal info that hamas does not want released. now, suppose you work for such an org, that’s your career: are you gonna risk your life or your career by divulging the truth? no, what you’ll do is cooperate with hamas but convince yourself that you’re doing it for the good of ghaza population, because admitting you’e an unethical coward is just too hard on you.

    The apologies should come from those who described the fighting as “massacre” and other Shoah terminology.

    the damage is done and the anti-semites will explode it further out of proportion. not only won’t the apologies come, but the orgs will stick to their lies, because admitting them is even worse than not having told the truth in the first place.

    and hey, who cares about the pals and the jews anyway?

  6. Eliyahu says:

    RL is right to be dubious about the Red Cross [ICRC]. During the Holocaust, the ICRC deliberately refrained from informing the world about the Holocaust, which they claimed was not part of their legal mandate to be concerned with. Early knowledge of the Holocaust came from Swiss doctors sent to treat the Wehrmacht troops on the Eastern Front.

    After WW2, the ICRC hired one Francois Genoud, a Swiss Nazi. A Judeophobe named Jacques Reynier [spelling?] was sent to Israel where he deliberately embellished the story of Deir Yassin, adding rapes and disembowlments that Arab witnesses at the scene later denied.

  7. JD says:

    “but the orgs will stick to their lies, because admitting them is even worse than not having told the truth in the first place.”

    It helps fundraising too.

  8. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu and oao,

    Yes, facts and ideology (if Judeophobia can be considered an ideology) don’t always match. But I put my comment #3 for the record.

  9. E.G. says:

    And what do you make of this? Money can buy you love?

  10. Joanne says:

    Regarding the casualties in Gaza, look at this article from Haaretz, hardly a right-wing paper:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1057874.html

    There’s also this from Ynet:
    http://tinyurl.com/cuygwt

    And this from Jerusalem Post:
    http://tinyurl.com/cwnrxq

    [HT Solomonia.com]

  11. oao says:

    And what do you make of this? Money can buy you love?

    as far as i can tell they needn’t bother.

    what is more importnt to ask is why is there a “humanitarian crisis” in gaza, when hamas has so much jiziya?

  12. JD says:

    It is “Jenin redux”. Insofar I recall the way Westerners, mostly European, went into a Judeophobic panic attack, or mass-hysteria, via their media reportage.

    I think this phenomenon is not the origin for Palestinian massacreology, but plays with European hang-ups well. The exaggeration of deaths, especially civilian deaths, and the visual representations provided by Palestinians develops from their national narrative, and the need to show that their flight in 1949 was not an Original Blunder.

  13. [...] Landes writes about the Gaza figures on The Augean Stables. He also has a fascinating posting on the coverage by the MSM of wartime casualties. Oddly enough, [...]

  14. Rudi says:

    @Eliyahu, “A Judeophobe named Jacques Reynier [spelling?] was sent to Israel where he deliberately embellished the story of Deir Yassin, adding rapes and disembowlments that Arab witnesses at the scene later denied.”
    I have the book of Jacques de Reynier, BUT when all anti-Israelis always mention his few pages about Deir Yassin, I confirm that one can find more about the Arab atrocities in the 200 other pages. Having read all, I can’t call him a judeophobe. His story on Deir Yassin has been abusedly used and the rest kept silent. I use from time to time other extracts of the book to make “my point”.

  15. [...] O­r­ig­inal­l­y­ po­sted her­e: Augean­ St­ables » J­en­i­n­ Red­ux: C­asualt­y­ … [...]

  16. Rudi, What is the title of the book? Do you know if it’s available in English? Thanks

  17. Davidka says:

    Eli
    Are you talking about genoud -the banker to the nazis and the muslim brotherhood who commited suicide in Lausanne recently?

  18. Rudi says:

    The book’s titel is “A Jérusalem, un drapeau flottait sur la ligne de feu”. Recently I heard about a reprint of the 1950 original.

    I don’t think it was ever translated.

    And if you look on google, besides some bookshops offere, most refer to Deir Yassin… though I found also this
    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Hadassah_medical_convoy_massacre

    But nobody will telle that de Reynier was also there…

  19. [...] Augean Stables » Jenin Redux: Casualty Figures Reconsidered 22 Jan 2009 … The UN’s humanitarian chief began a tour of the Gaza Strip on Thursday to examine the extent … http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2009/01/22/1610/ [...]

  20. [...] Augean Stables » Jenin Redux: Casualty Figures Reconsidered 22 Jan 2009 … The UN’s humanitarian chief began a tour of the Gaza Strip on Thursday to examine the extent … http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2009/01/22/1610/ [...]

  21. JENINITIS…

    JENINITIS

    Jeninitis is Islamic Palestinian Pallywood’s syndrome of lying, 1) inflating numbers of casualties, collateral by-standers in Israel’s anti terrorists operation (heck, they even had the audacity to add dead bodies dug out……

  22. Eliyahu says:

    Davidka, yes, this was the same Genoud who was a banker for Arab interests. He was also a personal friend of Carlos the Jackal, the terrorist. Carlos now sits in a French jail, not for murders of Jews but of two French policemen. I think that LePoint carried a long article about Genoud some twenty years ago. BTW, Carlos converted to Islam and foresaw that “the Islamic revolutionist” would be the great successors to the Marxists in the area of world revolution. Genoud was, I think, defended in court by that same sinister Jacques Verges who defended Barbie. Genoud’s career is proof that Arab nationalism and the “palestinian cause” are common ground where Nazis and Communists join hands with Arab and Islamic terrorists.

  23. E.G. says:

    Davidka and Eliyahu,

    I just discover François Genoud. All I found on a quick search is a l’Express (not le Point) article from 1996
    http://www.lexpress.fr/informations/francois-genoud-nazi-par-procuration_611964.html
    But Wikipedia is quite explicit – if not 100% reliable.

  24. trackback says:

    I see you are interested in Deir Yassin.

    There might be more things for you at http://www.hirhome.com/israel/deir-yassin.htm

    and on Jenin, http://www.hirhome.com/israel/deir-yassin.htm

    I think Mr. Landes will like most of the page, specially all the articles he will find on MEDIA misrepresentation at http://www.hirhome.com/israel/guide-israel.htm

  25. Cheap ultram….

    Cheap ultram. Order ultram cheap pharmacy….

  26. [...] Augean Stables » Jenin Redux: Casualty Figures Reconsidered22 Jan 2009 … The UN’s humanitarian chief began a tour of the Gaza Strip on Thursday to examine the extent …http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2009/01/22/1610/ [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>