The Majority of Palestinian Casualties are not Civilians. Here’s How You Can Tell.

This is where the blogosphere really comes into its own. Since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, NGOs have been calling it a “war on children” (the words of Osama Dayo, of Save the Children). The UN has claimed up to three-quarters of the casualties have been civilians. Nobody in the mainstream media questions these numbers. That’s because you can’t question the motives of a self-described human rights organisation, an established charity, or a UN agency.

My take on these claims is more sceptical. Firstly, experience tells me that ethnic and ideological hostilities often hide behind the more acceptable language of ‘human rights’ activism. Secondly, do you know the kind of people who work for the UN and NGOs?

But there is one method anybody can use to get a fairly accurate picture of the make-up of combat casualties. Some people have used it to assess the Second Intifada and more recent hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians. It devastates the claims of Hamas, the UN, Amnesty International, and other unsavoury types. And so far, none have been able to refute it.


Basically, if Israel was largely killing civilians in Gaza through indiscriminate bombing, one would expect the casualties to be a fair reflection of the Gazan population. Around 50% would be male, and 50% female. Around 40% would have to be under the age of 14. But this is not the case, in the current war or the last.

A fellow by the name of Don Radlauer ingeniously laid out all Palestinian casualties from the Second Intifada on the basis of age and gender as part of a wider study. He found that 95% of the Palestinian casualties were male, while the gender ratio for Israelis killed was around 60:40. Not only that, but 80% of those male Palestinians were in their late teens and early twenties. We can assume that proportionately fewer civilians were killed on their side as opposed to Israel’s. It’s all here. Here are just two interesting graphs:
pal fatalities by gender













pal fatalities by age













More recently, for Operation Protective Edge, an amateur pro-Israel blogger took the Palestinian casualties from a list provided by Al Jazeera. He broke them down by age and gender. Now we can see once again that there are far too many young males for the deaths to be majority civilian.  80% of the Gazans killed so far have been male, with almost half of these males being in the 18-28 age group.  20% of these males are between 29 and 48.

cas by gender












If anybody of the anti-Israel persuasion can make a case against these figures and my conclusions, I’d like to hear it. I have sent the Protective Edge statistics to several colleagues of the extreme left and to a few angry Muslims on online forums. I have been doing the same with the Radlauer study for years. Nobody has come up with anything convincing yet.


About Cranky Notions
Reactionary. That fella from the Norris scandal.

39 Responses to The Majority of Palestinian Casualties are not Civilians. Here’s How You Can Tell.

  1. Marko Novak says:

    So person who is old between 18 and 28 is a terrorist? Because you are implying this;) Probably is also this guy in the video in is this gorup right?

    • Looks phoney to me. Highly suspicious from 2:20 on.

      • Of course not every young man will be a terrorist, though they are more likely to be. What is clear from these figures is that Israel is not killing indiscriminately.

        Anybody who knows anything about the conflict will be able to tell you that Hamas has often prevented rocket fire from the Strip in order to maintain a ceasefire / keep a semblance of order. Though in this case they were under strong pressure from Egypt. This undermines the whole ‘Palestinians have no choice but to fire rockets’ argument, however.

      • Judah says:

        He is dead as a door nail not fake at all unless you think Israel IDF are shooting candy at people. So many Palestinians have died that had nothing to do with any conflict that all Commanding Generals in the IDF and Top Officials and Officers and Spys have all signed a letter telling BIBI that they refuse to continue to commit genocide on his behalf anymore and he told them that he will just replace them with people willing to kill anyone that he deems a threat even if they are most unarmed and mostly families and kids. That letter was signed and given to the government in September 2014 and it caused such a stir that their was riots in Israel against BIBI and before this election they had more riots because BIBI went to the USA and broke Israeli Law and international law and the USA’s constitution and the Logan Act and disrespected the President of the USA and they also watched his speech and noticed only extreme right wingers were there and that they blindly clapped to lies being told to them by BIBI and the only time those officials in Israel have ever seen that type of blind following based on lies was when Hitler gave speeches. So they protested against his reelection and then they found out that he put polling stations inside Israeli prisons with the promise to commute sentences for inmates and also giving inmates early releases. Last night he was behind in the poll but yet declared victory and then this morning sure enough he surged in the polls and won meaning he rigged it everyway possible because over half the population was against him and he didn’t even win the popular vote so now BIBI has become a ultra right wing dictator and the Israelis are sick of suffering under him and want him out and so does all the top spys and officials and generals and officers.

  2. rjmackin says:

    Nice to get an alternative perspective. Social media appears to be dominated by one particular dangerous strain of groupthink on this subject. Why is that?

    • Social media threads about Israel are mostly just opportunities for leftists to exude sentimentality and show how right-on they are, and for the Stormfront wierdos to get off on what they see as Jews doing naughty things.

      And because all conflicts should be debated on the basis of muh’ feelingz.

      • rjmackin says:

        But I find it strange that other fractious conflicts like Syria or Ukraine don’t seem to evoke such black and white outrage.

      • rjmackin says:

        There’s also a sense of the cult of the victim about the whole thing and in Ireland there’s nothing we love more than a victim.

      • A common quip, but I’m not sure that that it’s true. Certainly, the Irish don’t care much for Christians in Syria, or the unfortunates in North Korea, Zimbabwe, or many other regimes. Many times they completely invent a victim. After all, a disturbingly high proportion of Irish people, without a shred of evidence, believe the Potato Famine was a British plot to kill off a lot of the Irish. This victimhood thing can be channelled into a naive do-gooderism (visit the refectory at the UN headquarters in New York and listen out for all the Irish accents), but also something even darker, like the Republican violence and revanchism distinguished by its justification in the language of self-righteousness and self-pity.

      • rjmackin says:

        And as recently as last week when we offered ourselves up as a nation to the UN to be judged for so called human rights crimes dating back as far as the 20’s including the mother and baby homes, the laundries etc etc. We love a good hair shirt. But there’s always an agenda underneath it.

      • Andrew Carroll says:

        @rjmackin: The reason this conflict gets played up while others don’t is because it fits perfectly into the narrative that everything America does is evil. It plays into the masochism of the left to think that, once again, the West is to blame.

        As Cranky says, this conflict is a perfect opportunity for every normal leftist in the world to build their “I care about people!” cred by affecting as much outrage as possible in as public a way as possible. It’s not politics, or even ethics — it’s signalling solipsism (a phrase I’m trying to popularize to describe similar phenomenon).

  3. israellycool says:

    I’m a female blogger? That is news to me

  4. colmsplace says:

    Opinionated and disgusting. Pretend liberalism, or rather the kind that supports ‘the West’ over all.

    There is some interest in the phenomenon that people of conservative (to the point of reactionary) mindset always see suspicion of motive and behaviour, leftist (and liberals) tend to the white heat of outrage.

    In this case, fully justified. If you were so damn realpolitik as you pretend to be, you would have found out many other things on Israel and the Palestinians.

  5. The video state that it was an Israeli sniper. The bullet removed apparently proved that said “Israeli sniper” did not use a firearm issued by the Israeli military. Another question – Is the Israeli military using confiscated Hamas rockets on Palistinian children as autopsies on two found shrapnel of one of said rockets

  6. Pingback: Norman G. Finkelstein

  7. Basic tip and tricks of the trade of a smart terrorist: cram 1.8 million people into a ghetto cage. Doesn’t matter who, old, young, men, women, into the cage they go. If there’s any whining, you ‘defend’ yourself by blaming the whiners for using the people that you (yes you, the terrorist) crammed into the cage as human shields. And you wage ‘war’ on the people inside the cage, because, they be bad. Out you’ll come, like a victor.

    PS. You must have the support of a powerful nation that will clean your diaper every time at UN.

    • There was a time when Israelis would visit Gaza to enjoy the seafood restaurants on weekends, while hundreds of thousands of Gazans commuted to Israel for work. Alas, things can change quite radically with a Second Intifada and the coming to power of Hamas.

      Many Arabs wound up in Gaza involuntarily in 1948, of course. But imagine if the Germans after WWII called their defeat (and tragic displacement of millions of co-ethnics) “The Catastrophe” and used it to justify revanchist claims against the Poles or Czechs.

  8. Dan says:

    Hi – I haven’t checked where the numbers come from but I like the approach taken, since it seems the demographics are probably one of the more robust things that can be agreed upon.

    I do have a question about it though: if a gender bias is indicative of combatants, then how come the gender bias is still very strong for the under-10-year-olds? It’s conceivable they’re doing resistance things in Palestine but unlikely they’re doing much if they’re under 10, and of course they can’t be military targets at that age.

    The numbers are fairly small when only looking at that category so it may just be statistical noise. Or there may be other reasons for the numerical difference – maybe non-combatant young males including the under-10s tend to put themselves in the line of fire (by returning to damaged buildings etc) – this seems likely. So although I like this numerical detective work I don’t know how far I can take its conclusions. Some of the “excess young male deaths” must be combatants, yet some must be risky non-combatant behaviours. So now your argument doesn’t seem quite as knock-down as I thought at first.

    • Most disturbingly, it may be that young boys in Gaza are being groomed for combat and martyrdom from a very young age.

      • Dan says:

        Are you saying you believe that’s the predominant explanation? It is possible, but seems extremely unlikely that this would happen _without_ young boys also being heavily involved in risky non-combatant behaviour. Your main article refrains from leaping too far from the stats, so I assume you can’t yourself be comfortable with projecting such an unlikely possibility onto the numbers.

      • Finn says:

        The very same thing could be said about Israeli children.

      • No, it couldn’t. Israeli kids get drafted, but only after the age of 18.

      • Finn says:

        Yes, I am aware but they live in a militarised state where they are essentially being relentlessly groomed for compulsory service from a young age.

      • “I am aware” being “I have heard it from a few activist types balls-deep in Cultural Marxism”.

      • This is not to say that Israel is not a kind of martial society, or that the extent of it is necessary. But it seems to be de rigeur to reach for a kind of equivalence between the two parties and avoid criticism of the one society. To do otherwise risks charges of ‘racism’, and so on.

      • Finn says:

        No I just meant aware in its usual usage ie I have some knowledge about conscription in Israel. In fact the only people who have spoken to me about it are my Israeli friends who have been conscripted, the rest I learnt from independently researching it myself.

        I just thought I’d point out that if you were disturbed by the grooming of young Palestinian boys for combat maybe you would be disturbed by the grooming that goes on in Israel also. Apparently not, as you believe it is necessary for Israel to exploit its young people in such a manner so that they may protect their State. Again the same could be said for Palestinian children from Gaza who are forced to live under an occupation which denies their people’s right to self-determination from a very young age. I imagine this makes them much, much more susceptible to grooming unfortunatley. Of course I deplore exploiting children in such a manner, be they Palestinian or Israeli. I am very concerned about the issue of child soldiers and the exploitation of children in war zones in general, just so as we don’t risk you accusing me of a singular (antisemitic) fascination with this conflict.

        Is pointing out double standards ridiculous these days?

      • I’ve spent some time in the region and can say fairly certainly that the differences in these practices and wider moral values are enormous, and irreconcilable.

        Forgive me for being suspicious. 99% of the time, people who talk “human rights” and utter sentimental words about how much they “deplore the exploitation of children” have an altogether different agenda. You don’t usually have to scratch hard to find it, though!

      • Finn says:

        Oh yes I have seen your sweeping statements about human rights supporters and as you put it “the kind of people who work for NGOs and the UN’. I mean who actually cares about sentimental human rights, right? Anyone (or 99% of people) who expresses concern about Palestinians and their rights must just be antisemitic. Even people who have dedicated their entire lives to human rights but express sympathy for Palestine and concern about the human rights violations within their expansive body of work don’t really care about human rights, they are just antisemitic.

        My interest currently is children and I have been concerned, although can’t say I am anywhere close to being well informed, about the effect that the occupation has on both Israeli and Palestinian children. Of course I do believe the psychological effect and stunting of Palestinian children by the occupation is more serious but I am, what I like to think of as, proportionately concerned with the effect of the conflict and militarisation on Israeli children and Israeli society in general.

      • There is a contradiction in what you are saying. If people have a right to self-determination – be they Arabs or Jews – and this right is under threat or denied, then as a collective they certainly have a right to arm their youngsters to defend or win that self-determination. This much seems obvious. Otherwise what you are saying is pure guff designed to display your own righteousness from the safe distance of Ireland, or you are masking another agenda.

        Not once have I used the term anti-Semitism. You have now raised it twice. While I was implying you may have an agenda or those working for the UN may have an agenda, it was along different lines.

      • Finn says:

        I think you could probably glean from what I have already written that I support self-determination through peaceful means therefore there is no contradiction. I merely stated that I understood that people could more easily be groomed to resort to violence if they were raised in an occupation setting.

  9. somebody says:

    I don’t believe anything thay say!!!

    Don’t fall into Palestines propaganda!!!!!

  10. Dom says:

    In the annual humanitarian report 2014.

    In the Gaza Strip, 1.8 million Palestinians endured the worst escalation of hostilities since 1967. In Operation Protective Edge more than 2,220 Palestinians, including 1,492 civilians lost their lives. That is 67% civilians killed. You would expect a large number of civilians to be killed when you carpet bomb the city.

    A total of 513 children were among the dead.

    500,000 people displaced. Some 100,000 people remain displaced throughout Gaza.

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