B'Tselem shows it is much more honest than HRW, but not quite honest enough



B'Tselem just released its own slick website to show detailed statistics behind every single death during Operation Protective Edge two years ago.

This mirrors Amnesty International's similar website which is filled with absolute lies, as I've documented exhaustively.

To its credit, and in contrast with Amnesty, B'Tselem actually made attempts to be accurate. There was serious research behind this initiative.

The research was still biased. For example, many or all of those  who were killed in a beach cafe bombing were members of the Abu Rish Brigades of Fatah, but B'Tselem identifies them all as "did not participate in hostilities," which implies that they were civilian without B'Tselem saying so.

The bottom line is that B'Tselem identifies about one third of those killed as having participated in hostilities, with another 46 of those killed not having been determined if they were or not.

The Meir Amit Intelligence Center had identified (at last count) about 48% of those that they counted as being militants, but they had a lot more that had not been determined as of their last report.

The statistic I would like to see is the percentage of those killed who were either terrorists or who were killed during the targeting of legitimate military targets. That number would show how many were killed for no apparent reason which is really what the "human rights" NGOs are trying to imply was the case with the majority. But as we have seen, many of those killed were being used as human shields by Hamas or other groups.

B'Tselem's data should be enough to get a good idea of that number; unfortunately it isn't visible in database format so such a task would be arduous. (Anyone who wants to volunteer to work on that, please contact me!)

I looked at the death of a two-year old child, the first infant to be killed during the war:
Muhammad Khalaf 'Awad a-Nawasrah. 2 years old, resident of al-Maghazi R.C., Deir al-Balah district. Killed on 09 Jul 2014, in al-Maghazi R.C., Deir al-Balah district, by gunfire from an aircraft. Did not participate in hostilities. Additional information: Killed at home with his family.

And who was his uncle?

Salah 'Awad Hussein a-Nawasrah. 22 years old, resident of al-Maghazi R.C., Deir al-Balah district. Killed on 09 Jul 2014, in al-Maghazi R.C., Deir al-Balah district, by gunfire from an aircraft. Participated in hostilities, member of the military wing of Hamas. Additional information: Killed at home with his wife and his two nephews.
So a woman and two children were killed because they were effectively used as human shields by a Hamas terrorist. Their deaths are regrettable - but fully justified under the Geneva Conventions assuming that he was an important enough target. That is a judgment call based on what a reasonable military commander would choose based on the best information he or she has at the time.

Even if B'Tselem's statistics were 100% correct, and I don't think they are, I believe that a little digging would show that the vast majority of civilians killed in Gaza died because they were in proximity to terrorist targets - the victim of Hamas' policy of using the civilians of Gaza as human shields.

That is not a statistic that B'Tselem would want to publicize because their goal is to demonize Israel, not to show that it wages war against terrorists in a way that is compliant with international law.



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