In the Chronicle Herald on August 23, HRC Executive Director Mike Fegelman called out an anti-Israel activist for using grossly distorted Palestinian casualty figures when claiming all dead Palestinians were “civilians”. See the letter in full below:
Chronicle Herald: Mike Fegelman: “Casualty Info Doctored” (August 23, 2014)
Re: “Opposition tries to save face over Gaza” (Aug. 21 opinion piece).
Saint Mary’s University professor Judy Haiven grossly distorts Palestinian casualty figures by claiming all were “civilians” and yet, while the true percentage and makeup (civilians vs. combatants) of the casualties is unknown, Israel contends it killed some 900 Palestinian terrorists from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups since July 8.
Even the BBC and the New York Times have acknowledged that Israel’s casualty statistics are most likely accurate and that stats from Gaza health officials, A.K.A. Hamas, lack credibility due to their strategic interest in inflating the numbers.
While every civilian death is regrettable, Hamas bears ultimate responsibility for instigating the conflict through its campaign of terror: firing 3,700 rockets at Israel, abducting and murdering three Israeli teenagers, and for building terror tunnels into Israel to massacre children.
Importantly, the United Nations estimates that for conflicts worldwide, such as Afghanistan, there is an average of a three-to-one ratio of civilians to combatant deaths. Fighting in Iraq and Kosovo was higher at four-to-one, and in Gaza, thanks to Israel’s surgical pinpoint operations, the ratio was one-to-one.