Some 1,650 Palestinians have been killed and more than 8,000 injured in the 26 days since the conflict started, according to the Gazan health ministry. The United Nations estimates that four-fifths of the dead were civilians. Palestinian officials say more than 300 were children. On the Israeli side, 63 soldiers and three civilians have died.
To reach the Palestinian total of (about) 1,662 deaths in the title, I’ve added the twelve Palestinian protesters that Israel has killed in West Bank protests (two more yesterday). If the UN’s 80% estimate is accurate, 1,330 of the dead in Gaza were civilians. 3 out of 66, or 4.5%, of the Israeli dead (*one of whom was a Thai resident of Israel) were civilians.
As for the alternative reality that President Obama, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon and the mainstream media are experiencing, it’s quick and clear just to comment between the lines of a typical current Gaza ‘news’ report, this one by AP:
Israel bombards Gaza as it searches for soldier
By IBRAHIM BARZAK and ARON HELLER
Saturday, August 2, 2014, at 2:50 a.m. ET
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel bombarded the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Saturday as troops searched for an officer they believe was captured by Hamas in an ambush that shattered a humanitarian cease-fire and set the stage for a major escalation of the 26-day-old war.
“They believe,” not ‘they say’? AP reporters are skilled mind readers? Or did the Israeli spokespeople just seem like honest folk, real straightshooters? Gonna (NOT) be similarly naive/trusting toward Gaza military spokespeople?
The Israeli military has said it believes the soldier was grabbed in a Hamas ambush about an hour after an internationally brokered cease-fire took effect Friday morning.
And Hamas said he was probably in a clash an hour or so before the cease-fire start, but the AP reporter won’t relate that equally credible [or more credible] scenario this high in the report, will he? Reminder: no one has any way of knowing which side is telling the truth, but please, PLEASE, don’t tell the readers that!
The Hamas military wing on Saturday distanced itself from the soldier’s alleged capture,
It didn’t “distance itself,” as that means Hamas had earlier ‘closely’ associated itself with the alleged capture. From the start Hamas has said it knows nothing about it.
which has prompted widespread international condemnation.
It has prompted condemnation only in the West and at the UN. Why would those siding with the Gaza resistance condemn the capture of an enemy soldier? I mean, what is wrong with capturing an enemy soldier?
President Barack Obama, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and others have called for his immediate and unconditional release.
Bizarro world! Again, a soldier in an army that is invading and flattening Gaza, creating all sorts of gross carnage, was allegedly captured. Why is that to be condemned? If you favor the Palestinian side in this lopsided conflict, I suppose you might simply say ‘good job’ to the Gaza military. And why should a prisoner of war be unconditionally released? Why not in exchange for some of the over 500 Palestinian officials and activists captured and jailed without charges and for no real reason by Israeli forces in the weeks leading up to the conflict/massacre?
And what is with Obama, and especially Ban, completely buying the Israeli version of events? Okay, we all knew Obama would readily accept the Israel/AIPAC-dictated ‘reality’, but Ban is at least officially a ‘non-partisan’ neutral on Israel/Palestine affairs. Nonetheless, he was “shocked and profoundly disappointed by” the Palestinians because, well, because of Israel’s evidence-free assertions. He has absolutely NO IDEA, of course, who violated the ceasefire. The UN is no longer the UN, sadly …
At least 35 Palestinians were killed in the bombardment and shelling in and around the city of Rafah early Saturday, said Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra, adding that the area’s main hospital was evacuated because of the strikes.
Hmm, what more could’ve been said about that? So, immediately after Palestinian soldiers killed two Israeli soldiers, and one more disappeared, Israel decides to turn Rafah into hell on earth. Collective punishment, anyone? I don’t know where AP got its numbers, but this is collective punishment:
Around 100 people in Rafah have been killed and hundreds more injured since fighting restarted after an internationally brokered ceasefire collapsed on Friday morning. At least a dozen have been killed elsewhere in Gaza and scores wounded. Health officials said the main hospital in Rafah had to be evacuated due to shelling on Friday afternoon.
(And wasn’t there a similar scenario a week ago: ‘two or three Israeli soldiers die, big Gaza neighborhood (Shujaiyah) turns to rubble’?) Okay, back to the AP:
Elsewhere in Gaza, Palestinian officials reported more than 150 airstrikes including one against the Islamic University in Gaza City. Heavy shelling continued along the border areas. The fiercest battles took place near the site of Friday’s attack and purported abduction, near Rafah, about 3 kilometers inside the strip and close to the borders with Israel and Egypt.
And these “fiercest battles,” weren’t they in essence Israel bombarding homes, businesses, and that hospital in Rafah? How has AP managed to transform those massacres into ‘battles’, when no more Israeli soldiers died after the two deaths and alleged capture in the morning?
Well, I think I’ve run out of copyright forbearance. Suffice it to say most of the rest of the article is about that soldier. It appalls me that my government, the U.S. government, called his capture “barbaric,” when what was barbaric was the Israeli response, a mass killing of civilians. It also sickens me that one Israeli soldier’s photo and his family’s feelings are being played up more than those of any of the actual innocent victims of the conflict. Soldiers are not innocent. They are war criminals if they direct their firepower at places where there are surely civilians. Based on those parameters, we know from the percentages of civilian dead that many Israel soldiers are war criminals and few if any Gaza government soldiers are. ‘Just following orders’ doesn’t cut it …