Even when they lie, they support (belated) Israeli claims: PCHR publishes list of Casualties

Elder of Zion has an important analysis of the casualty figures just published by PCHR, the premier, UN-accredited Human Rights organization in the Gaza Strip. Not only do they transparently misrepresent Hamas and Islamic Jihad “activists” as civilians, but, when you do the math, they support the Israeli claims that only 12 people died near the Jabalya school. For the full post with links, go to the original posting.

PCHR lies about “civilians” and agrees with IDF about Jabalya

PCHR finally came out with the English translation of their list of victims of the Gaza operation, and already a number of things merit attention.

PTWatch, in the comments, quickly looked at Hamas’ list of “martyrs” from Gaza on its Al Qassam website and immediately found four people who Hamas happily claimed as members of their terrorist group – and who PCHR called “civilians.”

#576 Ayman Mohammed Mohammed ‘Afana
PCHR -> civilian
AlQassam -> martyr & fighter

#959 Amir Yousif Mahmoud al-Mansi
PCHR -> civilian
AlQassam -> martyr & fighter

#406 Ali Zuheir Mahmoud al-Houbi
PCHR -> civilian
AlQassam -> martyr & fighter

#133 Mohammed Salah Hassan al-Sawaf
PCHR -> civilian
AlQassam -> martyr & fighter
To this list you can add #257, Ayman Fou’ad Eid al-Nahhal, whom PCHR identifies as a “policeman/civilian.”

And Hamas clearly isn’t publicizing the names of all of its members. These are just the ones on their website that they admit were killed. Both parties are lying.

There are other terrorists listed as “civilians,” such as #864, Tareq Mohammed Nemer Abu ‘Amsha, who CAMERA noted that Ma’an listed as a member of Islamic Jihad al-Quds Brigades.

Intriguingly, some of the terrorists that CAMERA mentioned, who were listed in the weekly PCHR casualty reports, are mysteriously missing from the final report. Is PCHR protecting itself from listing too many dead terrorists? Were they never killed to begin with? It is something that people should be asking PCHR.

One other relevant part of the report: PCHR lists people who were killed “near” and “opposite” the al-Fakhoura School in the Jabalya camp on January 6th. You may recall that the UNRWA told me explicitly that they stood by the casualty figures of 30-50 dead at the school even after the IDF claimed that only 12 were killed. The PCHR itself claimed at the time that 27 civilians were killed instantly at the school.

Well, the PCHR counts of who died near the school are very interesting. Once you do not count the Deeb family – who PCHR says died “opposite” the school, who do appear to have been victims of an errant shell, and who were not counted as casualties from the school by PCHR in January – we are left with 12 dead! The IDF figures are found to be exactly right! The PCHR now says the Deebs were “opposite” the school, whatever that means, while the remaining 12 victims (11 from January 6, 1 from January 7) were “near” the school.

So now we know that not only is the PCHR lying as to who is a “civilian,” and not only is Hamas lying as to the number of their own terrorists who were killed, but the UNRWA is also lying in claiming that many dozens were killed at the school – even according to the lying PCHR.

UPDATE: More names of terrorists described as “civilians” by PCHR, and terrorists not listed:

#1314 Ashraf Rebhi al-‘Abed Banar PFLP terrorist described as “Fallen in Battle” by PFLP, civilian by PCHR

# 908 Jamal Ahmed Hussein Nashwan PFLP terrorist “was a leader of the PFLP in the eastern area of Beit Hanoun”

#412 Nizar Abdul Kader Mohammed Rayan prominent Hamas leader

Hamas military leader Abu Zakariyya Al-Jamal not listed

# 468 Mahmoud ‘Adnan Mahmoud Abu Ma’arouf – Hamas member listed as Mahmoud Arif in Ma’an

# 747 Mohammed ‘Ayesh Mansour Abu Naser “affiliated to the Ayman Juda faction, an offshoot of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah.”

#1185 Hamdi Saleh Mohammed Hamada “Al Aqsa fighter”

# 1054 Sa’ad Mohammed Abdullah Hassan “fighter”

# 1047 Ahmed Ibrahim Mohammed Abu Jazar Islamic Jihad “martyr”

UPDATE: Elder of Zion and PTWatch have now identified 86 “civilians” with military pedigrees. I’m not an expert in statistics, but 86 out of a list of about a thousand is an enormous range of error, particularly since these are only the most evident examples. It certainly puts this PCHR list high on the list of Palestinian claims that deserve no credence.

FURTHER UPDATE: Gaza fake civilian count keeps rising

12 Responses to Even when they lie, they support (belated) Israeli claims: PCHR publishes list of Casualties

  1. Chaim says:

    How about the 200 Hamas police officers? Were they al-qassam brigades? Who here has that info? PCHR lists those 200 police officers as non-combatants.

  2. [...] Angaben von Elder of Ziyon; er verlinkt nur auf die Hauptseite, die Liste ist dort nicht vermerkt; Richard Landes zieht ebenfalls PTWatch als Quelle heran), die eigentlich palästinensische Terrorangriffe [...]

  3. Eliyahu says:

    Hsyim, a cop is an armed man ipso facto, by definition. In Gaza a cop serves as a terrorist against Israel when need be and oppresses the local population when somebody gets out of line [like the local Christians who were murdere there].

  4. Jonathan Levy says:

    Whenever I see a list of Palestinian casualties (as Ha’aretz used to publish monthly during the second intifada), I always calculate the percentage of civilian casualties as follows:

    1) Count the female casualties.
    2) Multiply by 2.
    3) Divide by the total number of casualties.

    The assumption is that women are non-combatants (true on average, despite the notable exceptions), and that female non-combatants are as likely to be killed as male non-combatants (true in the case of indiscriminate bombing of homes).

    During routine months of fighting, when most operations are strikes from the air, or small forces on the ground, this usually comes out to about 10%. When there are larger infantry incursions, or when someone has made a bad mistake (e.g. Salah Shehade), this jumps to about 15-20%. When the same calculation is made on the Israeli victims of suicide bombers, the number is usually above 80%.

    From the numbers in the list which I downloaded from
    http://pchrgaza.ps/files/PressR/English/2008/list.pdf
    there are (from my count) 216 women, and 1415 total casualties. (216*2)/1415 = 30.5%.

    This is a higher proportion than usual, but it is a continuation of the trend (larger ground incursions causing a higher proportion of civilian losses). I would say that PCHR’s own data provides solid evidence that Israel is not engaging in indiscrimate bombing.

    There is another point to consider as well – what is the normal civilian death rate from natural causes in Gaza? How careful were Palestinian doctors to prevent such civilians from being added to this list? Is there a list of non combat-related civilian casualties which can be cross-checked?

    Jonathan Levy

  5. Lorenz Gude says:

    Jonathan Levy’s approach reminds of the techniques people developed during WW2 to see through the claims of outlets like the Voelkischer Beobachter. Of course they are not needed today when we have ‘premier’ sources like the UN and France 2. Plus ca change……

  6. I am now up to 86 names of terrorists who are listed as civilians by PCHR, and I know I couldn’t find the names of many other “martyrs” because of transliteration problems.

    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2009/04/more-of-those-civilians-killed-in-gaza.html

  7. sshende says:

    Jonathan’s technique looks interesting and plausible, if not for one key factor – in a conservative muslim society like the one in Gaza, women are less likely to wander outside of their houses, and stand less chance of being hit unless the attack was directly on their premises.

    This, plus a number of other key factors, such as the eagerness of many Palestinian females to join in the fight and become “martyrs” renders any attempt at calculating the number of civilians futile.

  8. Jonathan Levy says:

    sshende – you have correctly identified a weakness in my approach. The technique I described can effectively distinguish between two very specific behaviors:
    (1) Israeli troops are shelling civilian houses indiscriminantly.
    (2) Israeli troops are targeting combatants and occasionally missing.

    However, if option (1) is changed to (1b):
    (1b) Firing indiscriminantly at people in the street/market/mosque.

    or even to:
    (1c) Lining up males against a wall and shooting them.

    then this technique will not distinguish well between the two cases.

    However, it is important to notice that Israel is being accused of doing (1), and is claiming in defense that it is actually doing (2). This technique is a fair way to judge this dispute, even if it would be no good against a slightly different charge (1b) & (1c).

    Jonathan

  9. oao says:

    excuse me but all this focus on measurement and detective work seems to me rather obsessive when the known reality is that the pals lie through their teeth all the time, no exception.

    i think that stopping to pay attention to their accusations or stats, and their MSM’s channeling is less costly and as effective a procedure and working hard to figure out the discrepancies.

  10. Lianne says:

    International Institute for Counter-Terrorism IDC Herzliya has a report out – they also are finding plenty of PCHR ‘civilians’ on Hamas websites…

    http://www.ict.org.il/ResearchPublications/CastLeadCasualties/tabid/325/Default.aspx

    and a discussion with their researchers about their findings

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4205026437016977336&ei=e6D5SfCyIIOa2wL8v_C1CA&q=google+video+ict+casualties&hl=de

  11. [...] It not only ignores the lively discussion in the blogosphere which I’ve tried to keep updated here, but it also lacks a certain punch. The story is almost studiously presented as a “he [...]

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