UN Not Rushing to Correct Gaza Casualty Tally
United Nations (UN) representative Matias Bank on Saturday said his organization is not hurrying to address the numerous analyses disproving the Palestinian Arab tally of casualties in Gaza. The figures have been used as a focal point for worldwide hatred against Israel.
"Because we have to deal with multiple casualties in a short time, we focused on the first tally of the total number," Bank said, reports Yedioth Aharonoth. "We have not yet dealt with a detailed analysis of the data."
Bank insisted, however, that the UN is "taking measures" to distinguish between terrorist and civilian casualties.
"In collecting the initial data, we compared the various reports, not only from the media and human rights organizations, but also, for example, IDF reports with the names of terrorists," he insisted.
The UN has been one of the main proponents of claims of "disproportionality" in Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, which has seen almost 2,000 Gaza residents killed since the counter-terror operation was launched 33 days ago.
Recently, BBC and the New York Times finally admitted that analyses of the Palestinian Health Ministry's numbers do not support claims that most of the deaths are civilian casualties, noting that young military-age men are disproportionally represented in the count.
An in-depth analysis from Israeli sources revealed that some 900 of those killed, accounting for 47%, were terrorists. Such a ratio of combatant to non-combatant casualties - roughly 1:1 - would be almost unprecedented in the history of urban warfare.
The inflated civilian casualty count is due, at least in part, to statistic manipulation - including repeating names, refusing to give ages for some bodies, omitting or falsifying official registries, and slyly adjusting the tally's scope to include days before the war was declared. It also is due to Hamas's encouraging and compelling civilians to become human shields.
In addition, Hamas is known to count deaths from incidents outside of Israeli attacks under its list of "civilian casualties," including misfired rockets from Gaza and its own execution of "collaborators with Israel."