Gaza – the final figures

The recent outbreak of fighting in Gaza lasted for nine days from November 14th until the ceasefire at 21.00 on November 22nd. The UN has confirmed casualty figures up to 15.00 hours on the 22nd. They can be seen on: http://www.ochaopt.org/poc.aspx?id=1010002
They are:
158 Palestinians killed
6 Israelis killed
The Gazan health authorities have given a final figure of 162 deaths (not including one death since the ceasefire) but the UN is yet to issue its final figure.
Looking only at confirmed civilian deaths, the figures are
103 Palestinian civilians killed
4 Israeli civilians killed
By comparison the earlier Israeli offensive in Gaza lasted 22 days from December 27th 2008 to January 18th 2009. It resulted in:
1,377 Palestinians killed
13 Israelis killed (including four by friendly fire)
The UN has been keeping casualty figures for every week since May 2003. They show that at least as many Gazans have died in the periods of relative ‘calm’ as have died in the outbreaks themselves.
There is little reporting in the UK of ‘minor’ incidents resulting in a few Palestinian deaths, but the cumulative effect of these incidents is huge.
In the period in between the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza (August 2005) and the first Israeli offensive in Gaza (December 2008), the casualties were
1,315 Gazans were killed by Israelis
43 Israelis by Palestinians (of which 6 were killed by rocket attacks in southern Israel).
In the period of supposed ‘truce’ between the first and second outbreaks (from January 2009 to July 2012) twice as many people died on both sides as in the recent outbreak:
318 Gazans were killed by Israelis
21 Israelis were killed by Palestinians, three by rocket attacks from Gaza.
In the same period there were
1,162 Gazans injured by Israeli fire
12 Israelis were injured by Gazans (7 in Gaza and 5 in Israel, 1 by rocket fire).
In the entire period covered by the UN OCHA database (May 2003 – July 2012) there have been
3,437 Palestinians killed by Israelis
135 Israelis killed by Palestinians (a ratio of 25:1).
President Obama said that “Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory” . UN figures confirm that 180 Gazan missiles were sent in the last 24 hours up to 15.00 hours on November 21.
What is also true is that number of missiles sent bears no relation to the number of casualties. In the years covered by the UN OCHA database (May 2003 – July 2012) there have been
160 Gazans killed by Israeli missiles
7 Israelis killed by Gazan missiles
On that basis the chances of being killed by a missile is about 22 times higher in Gaza than in the Israeli towns of Sderot or Ashkelon that have been the target of Gazan missiles.
The Israeli deputy prime minister has pointed out that Israel has “minimised casualties” by using “precision” weapons targeted on suspected militants, but even with these precision weapons the UN figures show two-thirds of victims were civilians. Gaza is the most densely populated place in the world because two thirds of its population are refugees from Israel itself who have no choice but to live there.
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