An ongoing study by the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya provides an in-depth look at the fatalities on both sides of the current Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Based on thorough research using Palestinian and Israeli open sources, the study provides a breakdown of those killed by age, gender, and combatant status. The results lead to some surprising conclusions.
Combatants, Noncombatants, and Responsibility
Almost 1900 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the “al-Aqsa Intifada”, compared to almost 700 Israelis. Numbers like these are used to create an image of lopsided slaughter, with Israel cast as the villain. But such numbers distort the true picture: They lump combatants in with noncombatants, suicide bombers with innocent civilians, and report Palestinian “collaborators” murdered by their own compatriots as if they had been killed by Israel.
More meaningful figures show that Israel is responsible for some 733 Palestinian noncombatant deaths, while Palestinians have killed 546 Israeli noncombatants. Over 54 percent of the Palestinians killed were actively involved in fighting – and this does not include stone-throwers or “unknowns”. And Palestinians are directly responsible for the deaths of at least 253 of their own number – more than one out of every eight Palestinians killed.
On the Israeli side, 80 percent of those killed have been noncombatants. While Israelis account for about 27 percent of the total “Intifada” fatalities, they represent over 43 percent of the noncombatant victims.
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