Because the mainstream media has become a bizarro world of real incompetence and pro-Israel bias, the UN’s reasonably straightforward approximation of the percentage of civilians killed in the Gaza conflict has gotten severely mangled in severely Israel-friendly ways. Here’s UN OCHA’s latest report on Gaza human rights tragedy (PDF file):
This brings the cumulative death toll among Palestinians to at least 1,948, according to preliminary data collected by the Protection Cluster from various sources, including 320 persons who could not be identified or their status established. The number of civilians has been reduced slightly from the last situation update, from 1,408 to 1,402, because of new information in some cases, where their status was revised to unknown or being a member of an armed group. Of the civilian casualties whose identity and status could be verified, 456 are children and 237 are women; the fatalities include eleven UNRWA staff members. Some 226 have been identified as members of armed groups. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, as of 17:00 on 6 August, 9,806 Palestinians, including 2,979 children and 1,903 women nad 356 elderly, had been injured.
So, as I did in my previous report, and as anyone interested in the best approximation of the truth would do, I divided the number of identifiable civilians into the number of identifiable dead, and found that 86.1% of those identifiable were civilians. Now how the heck does that become:
As of Sunday afternoon, the death toll in Gaza had reached 1,939. According to the UN, about 73 percent of the people killed were civilians.
I don’t know, I just don’t know (throws up hands in disgust).
As for very recent essential reading, please take a look at the following:
UN’s Ban Ki-moon is a partner in Israel’s crimes
The Electronic Intifada
8 August 2014
The following open letter signed by 129 organizations and distinguished individuals was sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 5 August:
… We, the undersigned Palestinian human rights and community-based organizations, are extremely disappointed by your performance, notably by your biased statements, your failure to act, and the inappropriate justification of Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law, which amount to war crimes.
Until today, you have taken no explicit and tangible measures to address the recent Israeli attacks in the occupied Palestinian territories since 13 June. Moreover, your statements have been either misleading, because they endorse and further Israeli false versions of facts, or contrary to the provisions established by international law and to the interests of its defenders, or because your words justify Israel’s violations and crimes.
You have undeniably assumed a biased position toward the current attack on Gaza and Israeli violations in the West Bank by failing to clearly condemn Israeli unlawful actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, while, on the other hand, not hesitating to accuse – sometimes mistakenly – Palestinian combatants in Gaza of violations of international law. …
As far as I can tell, this important condemnation of Ban ki-Moon has not been reported by any mainstream news source.
The other essential thing to check out, especially if you still want to believe in international human rights ‘law’, is the following by Marjorie Cohn, former president of the National Lawyers Guild:
US Leaders Aid and Abet Israeli War Crimes, Genocide and Crimes against Humanity
By Marjorie Cohn, Jurist
09 August 2014
By sending vast amounts of military aid to Israel, members of the US Congress, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have aided and abetted the commission of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity by Israeli officials and commanders in Gaza. An individual can be convicted of a war crime, genocide or a crime against humanity [PDF] in the International Criminal Court (ICC) if he or she ‘aids, abets or otherwise assists’ in the commission or attempted commission of the crime, ‘including providing the means for its commission.’
There is growing evidence that Israeli leaders and commanders have committed the following war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity as defined in the Rome Statute for the ICC. US military aid has aided, abetted and assisted the commission of these crimes by providing Israel with the military means to commit them. …
Cohn makes the case very well. Not that it matters. Her report also did not exist as far as the mainstream media are concerned.