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BBC and NY Times: Israeli strikes in Gaza not “indiscriminate”

Two major media outlets– the BBC and The New York Times– have got around to reporting what many noticed weeks ago: that IDF strikes in Gaza have been far from “indiscriminate.”

Citing figures released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the BBC’s head of statistics Anthony Reuben found that the number of civilian men killed in the fighting outnumbered the number of women by a factor of nearly 3.5:1. According to the UN, 725 men were killed in the conflict as opposed to 214 women. When the 216 confirmed “members of armed groups” were included in the figures, the disparity grew even larger. Israeli military officials said 750-1,000 Hamas and other gunmen had been killed in the fighting as of Tuesday, August 5.

“If the Israeli attacks have been ‘indiscriminate,’ as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women,” Reuben noted dryly.

Of course “Reuben” is a suspiciously, well… you know.

The question echoes a New York Times analysis from earlier this week, which showed “that the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll: They are 9 percent of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34 percent of those killed whose ages were provided. At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71 percent of the population and 33 percent of the known-age casualties.”

At least some of the civilian deaths were caused by Hamas rockets falling short of their targets.

The deaths of innocent Gazans in this war, especially children, are gut-wrenching. No doubt in an operation this extensive, mostly in crowded civilian areas, there are going to be failures and mistakes.

But anyone who says Israel is engaged in “wholesale slaughter” in Gaza clearly has an agenda other than the truth.