Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks

Israel/Palestine
on 88 Comments

In this brief study, I examine the many numbers cited by the Israeli military relating to Gaza rocket attacks into Israel.

To begin, Israeli spokespeople frequently remind the world that a million Israeli citizens are within range of Gaza rockets, twelve thousand of which have been fired into Israel in the last twelve years, inflicting thousands of injuries and several dead.

However, we are rarely told exactly how many people have been killed by these rocket attacks.

Counting the dead

Below is a list of all the fatalities of rocket and mortar attacks fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel in the entire history of these attacks. Throughout the years of rocket attacks into Israel, a total of 26 people have been killed altogether.

Fatalities from rocket and mortar attacks in Israel from the Gaza Strip

Date of attack Name Age Location Weapon
2004.06.28 Mordechai Yosephov 49 Sderot Qassam
2004.06.28 Afik Ohion Zehavi 4 Sderot Qassam
2004.09.29 Yuval Abebeh 4 Sderot Qassam
2004.09.29 Dorit (Masarat) Benisian 2 Sderot Qassam
2005.01.15 Ayala-Haya Abukasis 17 Sderot Qassam
2005.07.15 Dana Gelkowitz 22 Moshav Nativ Ha‘asara Qassam
2006.03.28 Salam Ziadin*  ? Nahal Oz Qassam
2006.03.28 Khalid Ziadin* 16 Nahal Oz Qassam
2006.11.15 Faina Slutzker 57 Sderot Qassam
2006.11.21 Yaakov Yaakobov 43 Sderot Qassam
2007.05.21 Shirel Friedman 32 Sderot Qassam
2007.05.27 Oshri Oz 36 Sderot Qassam
2008.02.27 Roni Yihye 47 Sderot Qassam
2008.05.09 Jimmy Kedoshim 48 Kibbutz Kfar Aza mortar
2008.05.12 Shuli Katz 70 Moshav Yesha Qassam
2008.06.05 Amnon Rosenberg 51 Kibbutz Nir-Oz mortar
2008.12.27 Beber Vaknin 58 Netivot Qassam
2008.12.29 Lutfi Nasraladin* 38 IDF base near Nahal Oz mortar
2008.12.29 Irit Sheetrit 39 Ashdod Grad
2008.12.29 Hani al Mahdi* 27 Ashkelon Grad
2010.03.18 Manee Singueanphon* 30 Moshav Nativ Ha‘asara Qassam
2011.08.20 Yossi Shushan 38 Be’er sheva Grad
2011.10.29 Moshe Ami 56 Ashkelon Grad
2012.11.15 Yitzchak Amsalem 24 Kiryat Malachi rocket
2012.11.15 Mira Sharf 25 Kiryat Malachi rocket
2012.11.15 Aharon Smadja 49 Kiryat Malachi rocket
Total fatalities in the history of rocket and mortar attacks
from Gaza into Israel: 26
Operation Cast Lead: December 27, 2008–January 18, 2009
Operation Pillar of Cloud: November 14, 2012–

(Refer to the bottom of the page for notes and sources.)

The shaded rows in the table refer to fatalities sustained during Operation Cast Lead (December 27, 2008–January 18, 2009) and Operation Pillar of Cloud (November 14, 2012–).

Note that of the 26 fatalities from rocket and mortar attacks, more than one out of every four deaths occurred during these two operations, which were ostensibly designed to deter rocket attacks.

For the entire duration of the 2008 Hamas–Israel cease-fire—even after Israel had broken the cease-fire on Nov. 4—not a single person was killed by rocket or mortar fire into Israel. Yet approximately two hours after Israel’s commencement of Operation Cast Lead, one person in Israel was struck and killed by shrapnel from a Qassam rocket. Two days later, three more people were killed in Israel from Gaza rocket and mortar attacks.

And for an entire year before Operation Pillar of Cloud, not a single Israeli was killed by rocket or mortar. Yet approximately sixteen hours after Pillar of Cloud commenced, a rocket from Gaza killed three Israelis.

It was during both military operations that Israel endured the highest number of fatalities from Gaza rockets and mortars in the shortest time spans.

The data is too scant to a draw a more definite conclusion (and it is scant because fatalities are so rare), but one can suspect a pattern:

Rocket fatalities are more likely to happen during major Israel “anti-rocket” operations. Note that I say that fatalities are more likely to happen, rather than fatalities increase. Because fatalities are so rare, when they do happen in a burst, they appear more as instigations rather than incidental progressions.

This disputes the clichéd notion that rocket attacks are “designed to maximize civilian casualties.” Indeed, with such a low fatality rate and with the characteristic imprecision of the weapons, they cannot be expected to inflict a fatality most of the time.

At the same time, armed groups in Gaza are capable of increasing the likelihood of fatalities when prompted.

A verrry slow genocide

If we borrow the IDF’s claim that more than 12,000 rockets have been fired into Israel in the last twelve years (which I dispute later), we get a kill rate of less than 0.217%. Thus in order to secure a single kill, we should expect to fire about 500 rockets. However, if the goal is to specifically kill Jews rather than foreign workers and Palestinian laborers, then it gets harder. Only 21 Jews have been killed by this method, bringing the kill rate down to 0.175%.

If this sounds disturbing or even anti-Semitic, note that I am just testing the argument of the current Israeli ambassador Michael Oren, who, during Operation Cast Lead, co-wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal claiming that the Gaza rockets and mortars were “more than a crude attempt to kill and terrorize civilians—they were expressions of a genocidal intent.”

Yet the statistics demonstrate that it is much less than a “crude attempt to kill.” One can imagine easier ways to kill a random person than to manufacture and fire 500+ homemade rockets.

As for genocide, at the going kill rate, it would require 4,477,714,286 rockets and mortars, and 4,477,714 years to kill all the Jews in Israel. This is assuming that Israel’s Jewish population does not increase. And of course we would need to factor in the limited range of the projectiles, which would require Israel’s non-growing Jewish population to all congregate in the western Negev by the year 4479726 CE, give or take a few years.

But by then, all of Israel’s Jewish population will have already been exterminated by the country’s other violent killer, automotive accidents.

It makes more sense, then, to suppose that there are political rationales for the firing of rockets and mortars.

The IDF’s mysterious deaths

Now that we’ve established that a total of twenty-six people have been killed by high-trajectory weapons from Gaza into Israel, let’s look at some of the numbers that the Israeli military has been peddling.

In keeping up with its social media focus, IDF 2.0 has been distributing infographics through Facebook, Twitter, and an official blog, encouraging subscribers to share the images. One recent infographic makes the following claims about the number of Israeli casualties from rocket attacks:

IDF Hamas rocket threat 1

First, let’s compare the IDF’s fatalities numbers to the numbers that I’ve established:

Number of rocket/mortar fatalities by year, 2006–2011

  IDF claim Established
2006 9 4
2007 10 2
2008 15 8
2009 2 0
2010 5 1
2011 3 2

For every year listed, the IDF’s rocket fatalities number is higher than what has been established. Could it be due to different interpretations of the figures? We can try to find out by examining the fatalities for each year:

2006
In 2006, at the tail end of the second intifada, there were several Israeli fatalities, including a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, another suicide bombing in the West Bank, several shootings of soldiers and settlers in the West Bank,  two soldiers killed by sniper fire in separate incidents in the Gaza Strip, and the capture of Gilad Shalit in a Hamas/PRC operation that left two other soldiers dead. However, there were only two people who were killed in Israel by rocket strikes. Another two, a Bedouin father and son, were killed while attempting to move an unexploded Qassam rocket for salvaging. Their deaths are not listed in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs page as deaths by Palestinian attacks. Nevertheless, I included them in my listing, making four deaths by rockets in 2006.

For 2006, it is unknown how the IDF transformed four rocket fatalities into nine.

2007
In 2007, two Qassam rockets killed two people in Sderot. There was one other incident in Israel that produced fatalities—a suicide bombing that killed three people in a bakery in Eilat. Beyond that, four soldiers were killed by gunfire in the West Bank, one settler was gunned down in a drive-by, another settler was stabbed to death by unknown assailants, and three soldiers were killed in separate gunfights in the Gaza Strip. Altogether, sixteen were killed, only two of whom were by rockets—not ten, as asserted by the IDF. The IDF’s claim is also contradicted by Shin Bet (the Israeli Security Agency), which reported that in 2007, “rocket fire killed two Israeli civilians.”

For 2007, it is unknown how the IDF transformed two fatalities into ten.

2008
In 2008, eight people were killed by rockets and mortars from Gaza. Four were killed in the first half of the year prior to the “tahdiya” ceasefire. As soon as Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, four more people were killed by Gaza rockets and mortars. Yet the IDF graphic claims 15 fatalities. Again, this claim is contradicted by the Shin Bet, which reported that in 2008,

8 people (4 during the final days of December) were killed by high-trajectory fire (rockets and mortars) from the Gaza Strip.

For 2008, it is unknown how the IDF transformed eight fatalities into fifteen.

2009
In 2009, there was one conflict-related civilian death in Israel by Palestinians: A Jewish Israeli taxi driver was strangled to death by three Palestinians as revenge for the IDF killing of a relative. Outside of that, a 16-year old boy in the Bat Ayin settlement was killed by a lone Palestinian with an axe, two police officers were shot to death in the Jordan Valley, a settler near Nablus was shot in a drive-by, and a soldier was killed by an explosive detonation on the Gaza border. No one in Israel was killed by rocket or mortar from Gaza, even though the IDF claims two.

This is corroborated by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), which stated that

In the two years since Operation Cast Lead there has been a significant decrease in the number of Israelis killed and wounded by terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. There have been five deaths, one civilian (a worker from Thailand) killed by a rocket attack [which was in 2010] and four IDF soldiers killed during counterterrorism activities.

At the start of 2009, during Cast Lead, nine IDF soldiers were killed in the Gaza Strip, four of which were by friendly fire. Of the remaining five, one was killed by a mortar round while the other was killed by an anti-tank missile.

For 2009, there were no deaths in Israel from Gaza rockets or mortars.  The only way to claim two fatalities would be to include the deaths of two soldiers engaged in a military invasion inside the Gaza Strip, which would be misleading for the message being conveyed by the infographic.

2010
The IDF inexplicably attributes five deaths in 2010 to Hamas rockets and mortars. There were either nine or eleven Israeli fatalities relating to the Palestine/Israel conflict in that year, depending on the interpretation: the Shin Bet says there were nine fatalities relating to the conflict, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs records eleven. Of the eleven fatalities listed by the MFA, two were committed by a Palestinian criminal gang (one strangulation and one stabbing), one was a knifing of an IDF soldier in the West Bank, four settlers were killed by gunfire in their car on a segregated road near Hebron, two soldiers entered the Gaza Strip and were killed in a shootout with Palestinian gunmen, and one police officer was shot to death just south of Hebron. Only one fatality was due to a Qassam rocket.

For 2010, it is unknown how the IDF transformed one fatality into five.

2011
In 2011, there were only two rocket fatalities. The third fatality could be attributed to the April 7, 2011 killing of Daniel Vlific by an anti-tank missile. I explain in the note below why his death is generally not considered a high-trajectory rocket/mortar fatality. However, in this case, the IDF graphic does depict anti-tank missiles as part of the “Hamas Rocket Threat,” so the count of three fatalities can be considered correct. (Note, however, that in another IDF graphic, also entited “Hamas Rocket Threat,” anti-tank missiles are not included, as their limited ranges would undermine the intended message of a far-reaching threat.)

Thus, for 2011, the IDF number is correct if we include an anti-tank missile strike on April 7.

Conclusion
In the infographic, all of the IDF’s fatality numbers are exaggerated, with the exception of the fatality number for 2011.

Wounded by “shock

The same IDF infographic lists the number of people injured by rocket/mortar attacks. Thus we learn, for example, that in 2008, 611 people were injured by rocket and mortar attacks:

IDF Hamas rocket threat 1b

For obvious reasons, counting the injured requires more subjective assessment than counting the dead. And when it comes to Gazan rockets and mortars, Israeli authorities push the limits of subjectivity.

Gaza rockets have produced so few casualties that in the absence of deaths and serious injuries, Israeli authorities have resorted to detailing how many people were “treated for shock,” which the press has duly noted over the years.

Thus we are treated to shocking reports such as this Nov. 12 Haaretz article, concerning a rocket that landed on the yard of a house in Netivot:

The hit on Netivot left no casualties, but 20 people were treated for shock after the incident. [My emphases here and below]

And here’s the Jerusalem Post on Nov. 15:

MDA [Israeli emergency medical responders] on Wednesday treated a total of 16 people for injury or shock after a bevy of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip struck Israeli territory.

Injury or shock? How many of the 16 were physically injured?

According to MDA, two people were lightly injured in Beersheba, one from shattered glass and the other from falling down the stairs. Fourteen more were treated for shock as well, 12 in Beersheba and two in Sderot.

Though Haaretz may make a distinction between “casualties” and those treated for shock (which confirms that we are talking about acute stress response, rather than, say, hypovolemic or cardiogenic shock), not everybody does so.

The Shin Bet, for instance, claims that rocket attacks in 2007 “lightly injured more than 300 persons, most of whom suffered shock.”

The following year, the Shin Bet reported that out of the supposedly 630 Israelis wounded in “terror attacks” in 2008,

The majority of the wounded in 2008 (about 400 people) were wounded by high-trajectory fire from the Gaza Strip. This data includes victims of shock as a result of high-trajectory fire.

Shin Bet numbers on injuries aren’t available for every year, so let’s just compare the 2007 and 2008 rocket injuries number with the IDF’s:

Number of injuries from Gaza rocket and mortar attacks into Israel

  IDF Shin Bet
2007 578 more than 300 (most from shock)
2008 611 about 400 (including victims of shock)

How did the IDF come up with more than 200 injuries than the Shin Bet for each year? And are the Shin Bet figures subsets of the IDF figures (meaning the IDF also included hundreds of victims of “shock”), or are they different (meaning the IDF actually found much more than 200 additional injuries per year)?

Regardless, there seems to be some very loose playing with the numbers. Oh, but it gets looser…

Number of rockets and mortars fired into Israel from Gaza

For its latest invasion of Gaza, Israel unveiled a cool new feature that rivals all your iPad apps: the Rocket Counter widget. Now you never have to guess how many rockets have hit Israel. You only have to wonder why the numbers are so damn inconsistent:

IDF rocket counter
According to the IDF Rocket Counter widget, some time between Nov. 15, 2012 (left) and Nov. 16, 2012 (right), Gaza militant groups fired 24 rockets out of the year 2011.

The screenshot on the left shows the widget display on Thursday, November 15. The screenshot on the right shows the widget display a day later. On Thursday, the widget explained that there were 651 rockets that hit Israel in 2011. On Friday, the number changed to 627, despite the fact that the year 2011 is too recent to have made a comeback.

Moreover, supposedly 122 rockets had hit Israel between the time of the screenshots on Thursday and Friday (396–274=122). It would follow, then, that the full 2012 figure of 822 would also increase by 122, giving us a total of 944. Instead it jumped to 1,197, an increase of 375 (1197–822=375). What accounts for the 253-rocket surplus in 2012 and the 24-rocket deficit in 2011?

Part of the explanation may lie in another chart that the IDF has been peddling. The bar chart below, taken from the IDF blog, purports to show the number of rockets fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

IDF bar graph

The Rocker Counter widget appeared on the same blog page, and on Thursday, it seemed peculiar that two IDF graphics on a single page gave contradictory reports on how many rockets were fired in 2011. Eventually the widget was perhaps adjusted to conform to the bar chart.

However, it still does not explain why the other widget numbers do not add up. Nor does it explain where the 651 figure came from.

To make matters even more complicated, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has long promoted the figures collected by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC).

Below is a comparison of the number of Gaza rocket and mortar attacks into Israel, accoording to both the IDF and the ITIC.

Number of rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza,
by year, as reported by the IDF and the ITIC

  IDF ITIC
2001 510 249
2002 661 292
2003 848 420
2004 1528 1157
2005 488 417
2006 1123 968
2007 2427 1536
2008 3278 2471
2009 774 266
2010 231 156
2011 627  n/a
2012 1197+  n/a

Note the wide discrepency for almost every year, with the IDF numbers being significantly higher than the ITIC numbers. We can add to the embarrassment by referring to a page about “The Hamas Terror War Against Israel” on the website of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which reproduces both the IDF bar chart and rocket numbers as reported by ITIC—contradictory information, presented together in a single page by the Israeli government, in order to explain “The Hamas Terror War Against Israel.”

And then consider a quote by the Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, in an interview conducted on November 14:

This government has exhibited superhuman restraint: 2,500 rockets since 2009. Last month, 800 rockets. In the last week, 300 rockets. What government in the world wouldn’t have responded with war a long time ago?

No other Israeli agency claims that 800 rockets were fired in October 2012. Shin Bet claims 171 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza in October.

Conclusion

It can be argued that numbers ultimately don’t matter: One death is a death too many; one rocket is a rocket too many. But if that is the case, why do the IDF and related Israeli agencies need to inflate or fabricate numbers? Why has the numbers game been the cornerstone of Israeli rhetoric about rockets, as depicted in these other recent IDF graphics:

IDF zillion rockets

One of the most cynical uses of numbers is in this tweet by IDF spokesperson Maj. Peter Lerner:

IDF Lerner tweet

Perhaps inadvertently hinting at the causality (422 Gaza rockets fired since the start of Operation Pillar of Cloud), Lerner offers a circular argument, suggesting that the IDF military operation in Gaza is a justifiable response to the Gazan response to the operation itself. Operation Pillar of Cloud is necessary to prevent actions—which are a response to the operation—from ever happening. And the fact that it has since happened, justifies having made it happen, to prevent it from happening again.

The same reasoning applies to this new IDF graphic:

IDF three civilians

After a full year of no Israelis being killed by rocket fire from Gaza, Israel had to invade Gaza, prompting the new killing of three Israeli civilians, which provides retroactive justification for the prompting itself.

Still, this is part of the story. As much as the IDF loves to play with numbers, there are certain numbers that it avoids, such as the numbers behind the artillery fire leveled against Gaza, which rivals the number of rocket attacks from Gaza.

That will be treated in a future post.


Notes on the rocket and mortar fatalities table

Sources include, but are not limited to, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, the Israel Project, the Jerusaelm Post, B’Tselem, and numerous press articles. I made a point of referring to official Israeli and pro-Israeli sources, and then cross-checking them with one another. Some ages and spellings of names vary in press reports.

* Five of the 26 fatalities were non-Jewish: Salam Ziadin, Khalid Ziadin, and Hani al Mahdi were Bedouin; Lutfi Nasraladin was Druze; Manee Singueanphon was a Thai national.

The only non-civilian fatality in Israel, Sgt.-Major Lutfi Nasraladin was killed in a mortar attack on an IDF military base.

Salam and Khalid Ziadin were killed while handling an unexploded Qassam rocket for salvaging. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not include the Ziadins in its list of “Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism.”

This list does not include:

1. Palestinians killed by rocket or mortar misfire in the Gaza Strip.

2. People killed by Gaza rockets and mortars targeted inside the Gaza Strip. Prior to the so-called Gaza “disengagement,” illegal Israeli settlements within Gaza were targeted by rockets and mortars. They were not aimed inside Israel, and none of the rocket counts that I describe in this article include rockets and mortars that were aimed inside the Gaza Strip. They also do not form part of the rhetoric that rockets and mortars from Gaza constitute an “existential threat” to Israel.

In Gaza settlements and the Erez Industrial Zone, rocket and mortar attacks inflicted eight civilian fatalities: three Israeli Jews, three foreign laborers from Thailand and China, and two Palestinian laborers from Khan Younis.

Additionally there were two IDF fatalities in Gaza settlements, including a soldier killed while on his way to guard duty in Kfar Darom and a soldier killed at an IDF outpost in the Morag settlement.

All other rocket and mortar fatalities within Gaza were directed against IDF soldiers engaged in military operations outside of settlements.

3. One fatality in Israel by anti-tank missile. The rockets-and-mortars rhetoric refers to high-trajectory ordnances deployed with the following qualities: indirect fire, which coupled with a high inaccuracy rate results in nondiscriminatory targeting; a wide range that encompasses significant portions of southern Israel; and a high deployment frequency.

Anti-tank missiles are direct-fire ordnances with a more limited range and have been used infrequently against civilian targets by Gazan armed groups. There has been one civilian fatality from an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel (Daniel Viflic, age 16, killed on April 7, 2011, near Kibbutz Sa‘ad, by an anti-tank missile that struck the bus he was riding in). B’Tselem does not include this instance in its count of rocket and mortar fatalities.

88 Responses

  1. Talkback
    November 17, 2012, 10:28 am

    Jewish terrorists in Israel have fired more than 14.000 artillery shells at Gaza killing more than twice as much civilians (56) ALONE IN ONE YEAR (2006).

  2. Krauss
    November 17, 2012, 12:32 pm

    This is a terrific – and very intelligent – piece. Hard data always beats fluff, as long as it is presented(which isn’t always the case). That’s why we have independent media!

    On a slightly different, but not wholly unsurprising note, J Street has now completed it’s turn into AIPAC:

    link to cjp.convio.net

    Look at the co-sponsors at the bottom.

    Together with AIPAC, AJC, ADL and even hard-right CAMERA.

    Those are the friends of J Street now.
    People used to call it AIPAC lite. Time to ‘upgrade’ it to full status.

    • Elliot
      November 17, 2012, 11:38 pm

      J Street is the Jewish version of Obama. Pretty talk and completely useless when it matters.
      Worse than AIPAC because they carry credibility.

    • talknic
      November 18, 2012, 3:00 am

      J Street was never anything more than a pathetic, weasel word clone, posing as ‘good cop’ link to wp.me

  3. Avi_G.
    November 17, 2012, 1:35 pm

    Phan Nguyen, this is excellent work you’ve done here. Very thorough. Thank you.

  4. amigo
    November 17, 2012, 1:39 pm

    This is a very useful piece.Thanks to Phan for this seriously large effort.

    I know lots of people who will find this of great value in disassembling Zionist propaganda.

  5. mondoblack
    November 17, 2012, 2:25 pm

    Please support this effort:

    Manufactured Crisis: A History of the Iranian Nuclear Scare
    link to kickstarter.com

  6. Jim Martin
    November 17, 2012, 2:34 pm

    While we’re discussing the propaganda behind these rocket attacks why don’t we discuss the possibility that these Gaza rockets are themselves pure propaganda. Why don’t we talk about the possibility that at least some of these Gaza rockets are Israeli false flags intended to give Israel the provocation/excuse they need to conduct their attacks on Gaza. Now I know Wolf Blitzer and Rachel Maddow didn’t tell you this false flag idea but give it some thought just the same because false flags are a fact. They are a fact of history. Governments use false flags to pursue their agendas both political and domestic. That’s a historical/political fact. Now, one thing we know for sure using the Qui Bono standard of inquiry- Israel is the only one who benefits from these Gaza rocket attacks since it gives them their excuse to demonize/brutalize the Palestinians in Gaza. These rocket attacks do nothing for the people in Gaza except invite more death destruction and suffering. So why on earth would they fire them? Second as for who is firing these rockets from Gaza well that’s easy since we know Gaza has many Israeli agents and collaborators operating inside of it who could very well be the ones firing the rockets. Third why is there never an investigation into these rocket attacks? It’s not enough for Israel to say the Palestinians are firing these rockets. We need proof, not the word of the Israelis. As far as Hamas taking responsibility for (some of) these attacks, well I don’t trust Hamas. For one they are a creation of Israel and I don’t know for a fact that their ties to Israel were ever broken and I’d like to know whether there is some theatre being put on by the Israelis and Hamas which gives the illusion of a struggle between Israel and Hamas but is in fact a well conceived mutually beneficial dynamic of some sort eg -> link to sott.net

    • miles
      November 17, 2012, 3:12 pm

      why would palestinian kids throw stones at tanks? are they israeli agents too?
      i am shure, israel would do false flag operations, if needed (and i expect them to before attacking iran). but in this case they really don’t. there is no need to investigate these rocket attacks. who cares? who should investigate? israel? hamas? un?

      thank you, phan nguyen! excelent work!

      • Jim Martin
        November 17, 2012, 3:56 pm

        You’re surely not comparing Palestinian children throwing rocks at tanks to (alleged) Hamas rockets are you, not in terms of damage and their corresponding propaganda value to the Israelis??? I mean was that a joke? Not even the Israelis are ham-handed and tone deaf enough to use a child throwing a rock at a heavy main battle tank as a pretext for a massacre.

        Nice to hear from the double digit IQ brigade smh

        As far as an investigation goes that’s also easy. Any panel composed of impartial and qualified experts. And why investigate the rocket attacks? Ummmm, maybe cuz they’re the pretext the Israelis are suing to justify their butcheries???

    • SimoHurtta
      November 17, 2012, 6:05 pm

      Israel claims constantly Hamas firing Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 artillery rockets. Both are very long (5 – 7 meters) and heavy (400 – 900 kg) artillery rockets. To put these rockets to a firing position demands manpower, machines and special launching platforms. They are not like these light and mobile Qassams which can be moved by a couple a men, do not demand launching tubes and can be prepared to launch in a very short time (some tens of seconds). It is impossible to believe that Hamas could use same hidden launching tubes for these giant artillery rockets more than one time. Even more difficult is to believe that Israel would not know about these hidden launching platforms.

      The list of Iranian weapons in use of Hamas is “amusing”. Why would Iran smuggle to Gaza basic weapons like mortar shells, Grad rockets etc which could be easily bought from Egyptian black markets? It would be much easier to give a suitcase full of dollars and say to Pals buy what you need. Why (and how) would Iran smuggle to Gaza long and heavy artillery rockets which demand special launching systems are almost impossible to be used in the tactical situation Hamas soldiers are (small area + complete Israeli air superiority and extremely developed spying systems).

      By claiming constantly Iranian weapons to exist in hands of Hamas and those few successful long rage rocket launchings (which I doubt come from Gaza and are fired by Palestinians) is aimed to get needed excuse to act against Iran.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 17, 2012, 9:41 pm

        iran denied today they were supplying gaza w/weapons. i would have to go check my computers history to find the article. be right back.

      • SimoHurtta
        November 18, 2012, 6:25 am

        Mentioned for example in this article

        Amusingly in the end of the article is said:
        “Fajr 5 rockets can be fired from the back of a 6×6 truck to hit targets up to 75 kilometres (46 miles) away. This compares to a range of between four and 13 kilometres for the Qassam rockets.”

        How many seconds would a heavy 6×6 truck with Fajr-5 (or 3) launching systems (over 10 meters long) have time if they appear to the streets of Gaza. Also astonishing is how Iran would manage to smuggle such massive launching systems to Gaza. Massive even without the truck.

        Israeli propaganda has interesting pictures of pieces of Fajr-5 and equal large rockets
        example
        older example
        Notice how both large objects have soft landed from the sky without any marks on the ground. :)

    • NickJOCW
      November 18, 2012, 4:39 am

      There is evidence of extremist groups, probably small transient ones, which tend to be swept up under the general definition of ‘Hamas’ while not being controlled by Hamas, having no political dimension, and being remote from the interests of ordinary Palestinians. This is also so with Al Qaeda. These people could be approached and motivated to launch attacks convenient to the IDF. In fact if one were going to do it, that’s likely how one would set about it.

    • MB.
      November 18, 2012, 7:35 am

      JMartin writes above, “While we’re discussing the propaganda behind these rocket attacks why don’t we discuss the possibility that these Gaza rockets are themselves pure propaganda. Why don’t we talk about the possibility that at least some of these Gaza rockets are Israeli false flags intended to give Israel the provocation/excuse they need to conduct their attacks on Gaza.”

      Yes, I agree — I have thought the same myself — how many are really rocket attacks from Hamas, and how many are false flags from Israelis hidden among the Palestinian population? After all, planting Jewish agents in Palestinian territories would be so easy — loads of Israelis are Arab Jews, and have the same apearance as the Christian and Muslim Palestinians, and loads of Arab Jews ( Mizrahim) speak fluent Arabic too. It would be so easy to do.

      Just think for a moment — if you knew that smashing a huge hornets nest would bring very little benefit to you, but would certainly bring massive harm upon you and all those you loved dearly — would you be mad and stupid enough to do it? In the exact same way, if you were a Palestinian, and you knew that sending a home made rocket to Israel , may possibly kill or injure a handful of Israelis — but would bring untold numbers of catastrophic casualties on your own people — would you just go ahead and do it?

      Think about it — it just does not make sense.

      I agree with JMartin — I’d wager lots of these Hamas rockets are Israeli false flags.

  7. Blaine Coleman
    November 17, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Thank goodness there’s a Barcelona demonstration today, chanting “Boycott Israel”, over and over – link to youtube.com

    When will “Boycott Israel” beome the main chant of the Palestine solidarity movement in the United States?

    • Shmuel
      November 17, 2012, 4:41 pm

      Demonstrations yesterday and today in Rome.

      • jon s
        November 18, 2012, 6:23 am

        Shmuel,
        I would be interested in hearing about those demos. What were the slogans? What was the turnout? Who were the participants? How do they compare to the demos during Cast Lead? Were there counter-demonstrations? I’m not trying to set you up to score a point, I’m really curious. As you can imagine,here in Beer Sheva I’ve been busy trying to keep my family and myself as safe as possible under the circumstances.
        Lots of relatives and friends and colleagues have been affected , many called up by turtle eight, if you know what I mean.

      • Shmuel
        November 18, 2012, 7:11 am

        jon,

        I am keenly aware of the situation in Beer Sheva, as I have close family there. Stay safe, and if you are called up, I hope you will at least consider refusing to participate in this cynical massacre, product of ongoing policies of repression, collective punishment and dehumanisation of Palestinians. And if you haven’t yet read Michal Vasser’s “message to Israel’s leaders”, please do: link to haaretz.com

        Slogans:
        “Israel – Terrorist State”; “Israel – Murderer. Hands off Palestine”; “Free Free Palestine”; “Free Gaza”; “Gazans Hang in There”; “No Italian Arms for Israel”; “Boycott Israel”

        Turnout:
        – About 100 people the day before yesterday, for demo in front of parliament.
        – 200-300 people yesterday for demo in front of parliament and march through the city centre (from Monte Citorio to the Colosseum, for those who know Rome).
        – The Palestinian community of Rome and Lazio, together with the various solidarity groups is planning further events, and trying to get a permit for a sit-in

        Participants:
        – Local Palestinians
        – Solidarity, mostly left-wing

        Reactions:
        – Curiosity, support from some drivers, tourists taking pictures, no confrontations

        Symbols:
        – Palestinian flags
        – keffiyehs

        Counter demo:
        – There was a pro-Israel demonstration in the Ghetto last night, organised by the Jewish community.
        – Police made sure the two demonstrations didn’t get anywhere near each other.

      • amigo
        November 18, 2012, 8:55 am

        As you can imagine,here in Beer Sheva I’ve been busy trying to keep my family and myself as safe as possible under the circumstances.”jon s

        You might consider leaving that Illegal settlement in occupied Palestine and go back to Israel proper.

        Plonking yourself down in someone else,s property is hardly the way to keep your family safe.

        And you dare to play victim.

        Geez.

      • Hostage
        November 18, 2012, 8:56 am

        I am keenly aware of the situation in Beer Sheva, as I have close family there.

        Maybe one of you two should run for Mayor there. The current office holder opposes any cease fire proposal: link to ynetnews.com

      • jon s
        November 18, 2012, 9:31 am

        Thanks for your reply and your wishes for our safety. I hope your family stays safe, too. Around three hours ago another salvo, 5 rockets,were launched at the city. 3 were intercepted by Iron Dome and and 2 hit. There was damage but no casualties.
        I won’t be called up, I’m past the age.
        I know Michal Wasser , she’s a colleague of mine in the history-teaching business, an exceptionally fine teacher. Her letter was remarkable and well-put.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 18, 2012, 10:42 am

        “As you can imagine,here in Beer Sheva I’ve been busy trying to keep my family and myself as safe as possible under the circumstances.”

        I would imagine that a man of the left, as you claim to be, would understand that making your self safe as possible would come only from giving your Palestinian victims justice. Why don’t you march on the PM’s residence calling an end to your state’s terror rather than cowering on Occupied Land???

  8. merlot
    November 17, 2012, 3:06 pm

    You would be well served by doing an analysis of numbers provided by the Gaza NGO Security Office (GANSO). They do bi-weekly reports that include counts of rockets, mortars, and grads fired by Palestinians as well as IEDs, shooting attacks, etc. They compare this against airstrikes, naval bombardment, cross border shooting, incursions, etc. They tell which rockets fell short, which fell did no harm, and which caused harm. They tell Palestinian fatalities, injuries, and distinguish civilians and armed groups. Their informaiton is gathered by staff on the ground in Gaza and in Israel. They are probably the most reliable source for this information.

    A quick glance at their numbers shows that around 900 mortars, grads, and home made rockets were fired this year before this escalation. However, that number doesn’t give context and doesn’t tell where the rockets were aimed. My estimate is that 75% were fired during 3 distinct periods of escalation in March, June, and October.

    Looking at these reports in more detail is probably something that someone should do. http://www.ganso-nso.org

    • Avi_G.
      November 17, 2012, 6:14 pm

      “shooting attacks”?

      You’re talking about Israeli snipers who target mentally disabled Palestinians (As was the case two weeks ago), children and the elderly on a regular basis.

  9. Shmuel
    November 17, 2012, 4:35 pm

    Thanks, Phan. Terrific research and presentation. Like all of your posts, I can only imagine how much work you must have put into it.

  10. Erasmus
    November 17, 2012, 5:01 pm

    Wow!!
    Chapeau!!! What an effort. Thanks to you, Phan Nguyen.

    Looking forward to follow-up info.
    I wonder whether the IDF and other official Israeli sources will be equally “generous” with the complementary data about bombs, missiles, fatalities and/or human collateral damage, et al……….

  11. David Samel
    November 17, 2012, 7:02 pm

    Great job, Phan. Lots of heavy lifting. I would add that Israel’s gross exaggeration of the attacks against it are long-standing policy. I recall quite well the claims made by Israeli representatives appearing on US media that since the beginning of the second intifada in 2000, there had been 12,000 terrorist attacks (in 2002); 20,000 attacks (2003); and 25,000 attacks (2004). Doing the math, this works out to an average of nearly 20 terrorist attacks per day. I also recall two “liberal” talk-show hosts, Charlie Rose and Brian Lehrer, accepting such absurd claims without the slightest skepticism. I don’t recall such figures being proffered after 2004, and speculated that someone finally pressed one of these spokespersons about these figures to the point of embarrassment. Similarly, in 2006, in an effort to camouflage the gross disparity between the damage done to both sides during the Lebanon War, Israel claimed that thousands of its homes had been “damaged” by Hezbollah rockets. These ridiculous figures are also reminiscent of US Govt claims during the Vietnam War. Every week, they would issue statistics about the number of enemy killed and bridges destroyed, etc. that came straight out of Orwell.

  12. Bumblebye
    November 17, 2012, 7:08 pm

    On bbcR5live minutes ago, these fairy tale figs were mentioned by presenter Adrian Goldberg (no, he’s not, his refugee dad was) while he was talking to Palestinian Amb Manuel Hassassian. I have texted off a link to this article in the hope that someone in the crew will look at it, and maybe when at some point they interview an Israeli spokesperson they’ll be brave enough to question the numbers!

  13. Denis
    November 17, 2012, 7:44 pm

    Another article well done, Phan.

    For what it’s worth I tried to verify your fatality numbers with your own sources. The Shin Bet site is a 404 as of Nov17 4:15pm PST.

    I searched the IMFA site on “missiles” and “rockets” for the years 2006 to 2012 and came up with your numbers pretty closely. The two years I could not get exact agreement, 2006 and 2008, your figures were high (4 vs 2 in 2006 and 8 vs 4 in 2008), so the IMFA figures, if they are more accurate and if I didn’t miss something, would just emphasize your point even more.

    Jim Martin – I agree 100%. I cannot believe for a moment anyone could throw 12,000 rockets at a country with populated areas like Israel for 8 years and come up with a score of only 26 hits. The thought is lubricious . . . hang on, that’s “ludicrous,” although it’s also lubricious in a certain sense.

    Every time we get a report of another Hamas rocket falling harmlessly in the Negev I say, “Oh, yeah, there goes that blind Hamas missile wacko, bringing down his batting average again. Riiight….” The IDF or Shin Bet have no reason to scare Israelis with these red flag missiles and inflated numbers; the Jews Israel wants to scare are the ones in AIPAC and the ADL.

    OTH, there is no doubt now that Hamas has plenty of rockets to fire. Listening to Harry Fear in Gaza City the last few days, has been enlightening. Every now and then he stops at the sound of another rocket going off near-by. That all of these rockets could get into Gaza is fascinating, what with Israeli and US satellites watching every square inch of the ME. Tunnels, sure. But ya’ gotta’ get them to the tunnels from somewhere.

    Of course, the other side to this coin is the Hamas/Palestinian hasbra, which is known to have its own low points. Speaking of . . . what happened to that downed F16 story from yesterday? The Palestinians were spreading a story that Qassam knocked an F16 out of the sky and captured an Israeli pilot. I have not seen any word of this on any media – either MSM or Internet. Not a peep. If Hamas has something that will bring down F16s, this is a whole new game. But if they had such capability, why are they getting pounded?

    The Palestinians have got caught out a number of times selling their own brand of BS, and I think that really hurts them. Nobody’s gonna’ report their stories now without 10-fold verification. That ole’ cryin’ wolf blow-back.

    • Phan Nguyen
      November 21, 2012, 4:12 am

      Denis wrote:

      “I searched the IMFA site on ‘missiles’ and ‘rockets’ for the years 2006 to 2012 and came up with your numbers pretty closely. The two years I could not get exact agreement, 2006 and 2008, your figures were high (4 vs 2 in 2006 and 8 vs 4 in 2008), so the IMFA figures, if they are more accurate and if I didn’t miss something, would just emphasize your point even more.”

      The reason I came up with four rather than two fatalities in 2006 is because I included an incident where a Bedouin father and son were killed while handling an unexploded Qassam. Because the deaths were not the result of a rocket strike, they are not always included in figures. I included them because I consider deaths from unexploded ordnances as a continuation of the original deployment of the ordnances.

      As for 2008, four of the eight deaths occurred at the end of the year during Cast Lead. Those are sometimes counted separately either as part of Cast Lead fatalities or sometimes carried over to the year 2009.

      Hope that clears up the discrepencies.

  14. thankgodimatheist
    November 17, 2012, 8:08 pm

    Another Hasbara Buster is born! Incredible piece! ! Thank you Phan Nguyen.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 17, 2012, 9:35 pm

      born? helloooo

      tgia, meet phan link to mondoweiss.net

      • thankgodimatheist
        November 17, 2012, 9:53 pm

        Silly me! But truth to be told, Annie, I wasn’t sure I should write that. Although I had no knowledge of his other contributions (I’m too on and off unfortunately) I suspected that such contributions would exist. Mea Culpa..

      • Walid
        November 18, 2012, 1:52 am

        Annie, this is a monumental effort by Pham Nguyen. The 30 or so other articles you linked to were also great pieces by this friend of Palestine.

        OT, for some needing coaching in pronouncing his given name (family names are written first), which is used either as a family name or a given name by almost 40% of Vietnamese, here’s a short fun video on how to properly pronounce it:

  15. Talkback
    November 17, 2012, 8:26 pm

    Hamas retweeted this article on it’s twitter account 10 hours ago. LOL.
    link to twitter.com

  16. traintosiberia
    November 17, 2012, 8:49 pm

    Meanwhile another Rabbi ( i used to have a lot of respect for this guy until now) reminding the world the need for peace, to pray for peace and apparently according to him no one gains form violence .Before he does he let the cat out of Israeli bag full of one item that is targeted propaganda . Here is the interview on UK TV provided by Telegraph (UK)

    ‘It’s got to do with Iran': Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks’ unguarded comments about Gaza conflict
    Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks is caught off guard during a Radio 4 Today programme broadcast when he is asked about the Gaza conflict

    The Chief Rabbi had been asked by presenter Evans Davis for his reaction to the situation in Gaza immediately after delivering the daily Thought for the Day on Radio 4’s Today.

    He initially responded: “I think it’s got to do with Iran, actually”, before being told he was live on air.

    He quickly responded by making a plea for peace saying: “A continued prayer for peace is needed, not only in Gaza but the whole region”.

    link to telegraph.co.uk

    The bag of propaganda is carried by the UK media also as always to lighten the burden of Israel.

    • thankgodimatheist
      November 18, 2012, 1:14 am

      “( i used to have a lot of respect for this guy until now)”

      This fellow has always been off, Traintosiberia. He only tries to hide it somehow. The above is a demonstration.

    • eGuard
      November 18, 2012, 5:05 am

      It was broadcast on Friday. Here is a free page with a sound link. link to dailymail.co.uk
      Appearantly BBC journalist co-presenter Sarah Montague interrupted him to whisper ‘We’re live’.

      What kind of “journalist” would spoil a gaffe? I’d say Sarah Montague is the one to make an excuse for this, to us.

      • Stone
        November 18, 2012, 8:50 pm

        It has been said that a gaffe in politics is when one tells the truth…

  17. Eva Smagacz
    November 17, 2012, 10:17 pm

    Re: propaganda

    This picture is priceless: pic.twitter.com/Fj2G9J5L

    Totally on topic

    • eljay
      November 17, 2012, 10:58 pm

      >> This picture is priceless: pic.twitter.com/Fj2G9J5L

      Aggressor-victimhood is SUCH a tough gig! :-(

  18. Mycos
    November 17, 2012, 11:15 pm

    Yes. Good stuff. A couple years back I had cause to look over civilian websites of pro-Zionists for the numbers of Israeli fatalities caused by Palestinian-launched rocket attacks. I very quickly began to notice the way in which numbers were given for total rockets fired, launches per year; by technological innovations made over the years eg Qassam 1 or 2; by the expansion in range covered by each generation (always given by the meter or yard, rarely by a rounded off mile or km), or by the number of Israelis *injured* but almost never by what I had always considered would be the most important number of ALL…the total fatalities those fabulously high numbers they were giving me had actually caused. I immediately began to suspect that it couldn’t possibly be small as to be embarrassingly so, could they?

    And yes, it didn’t take me long – at least after I had made that all-important leap that began to question the Israeli version of events in the M. East their propagandists had purposefully been deceiving Westerners about for over 60 years. When I realized how the Sulzebergers (pro-Zionist Jews that have long been owners of “the paper of record” – the NYTimes) had actually taken a letter sent to the paper for publication as far back as 1948, signed by Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, and 26 other Jews – all notable intellectuals in their own right….and upon the editors realization of how extremely poorly they had assessed the terrorism used by then-Irgun leader Menachem Begin, and how they saw his upcoming trip to the USA as nothing more than an effort to deceive Americans about the real intentions of his new “Freedom Party” (the letter accused him of being a pre-Nuremberg fascist whose beliefs and actions at Deir Yassin “still resembled those used by the Italian fascist leader, Mussolini.”) . All this resulted in the NYTimes burying this historic letter away on pg. 5 in the “Books” section.
    Anyhow, the evidence is now overwhelming that the West has been deceived by decades of deliberate lies. That this effort is still ongoing has been shown by the details you have collected here for readers lucky enough to have arrived here.

    So again… Thank you.

  19. MB.
    November 17, 2012, 11:44 pm

    JMartin writes above, “While we’re discussing the propaganda behind these rocket attacks why don’t we discuss the possibility that these Gaza rockets are themselves pure propaganda. Why don’t we talk about the possibility that at least some of these Gaza rockets are Israeli false flags intended to give Israel the provocation/excuse they need to conduct their attacks on Gaza.”

    Yes, I agree — I have thought the same myself — how many are really rocket attacks from Hamas, and how many are false flags from Israelis hidden among the Palestinian population? After all, planting Jewish agents in Palestinian territories would be so easy — loads of Israelis are Arab Jews, and have the same apearance as the Christian and Muslim Palestinians, and loads of Arab Jews ( Mizrahim) speak fluent Arabic too. It would be so easy to do.

    Just think for a moment — if you knew that smashing a huge hornets nest would bring very little benefit to you, but would certainly bring massive harm upon you and all those you loved dearly — would you be mad and stupid enough to do it? In the exact same way, if you were a Palestinian, and you knew that sending a home made rocket to Israel , may possibly kill or injure a handful of Israelis — but would bring untold numbers of catastrophic casualties on your own people — would you just go ahead and do it?

    Think about it — it just does not make sense.

    I agree with JMartin — I’d wager lots of these Hamas rockets are Israeli false flags.

  20. MRW
    November 18, 2012, 1:42 am

    Excellent, Phan. Will be part of the permanent historical record.

  21. Kevin R. Vixie
    November 18, 2012, 1:47 am

    Very nice. I will share this article!

  22. Bing Bong
    November 18, 2012, 7:54 am

    One rocket is enough.

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 18, 2012, 10:39 am

      One rocket is nothing. 100 rockets is about equal to one day of the occupation that’s been waged by the israelis for the last 70 years. End the occupation and then you’re complaints about the rockets is valid.

      • Bing Bong
        November 18, 2012, 5:12 pm

        “End the occupation and then you’re complaints about the rockets is valid.”

        I must have missed the bit where Hamas said they will stop the rockets if the occupation ends. And there was plenty of violence against Israel pre-occupied territories and disengagement in 2005 has resulted in more rocket attacks not a starting block towards peace and Gaza independence.

      • Cliff
        November 18, 2012, 6:07 pm

        The disengagement was a redeployment of settlers and troops to the West Bank. It was not, as you imply, some kind of benevolent gesture for peace. Israel is much more at ease bombarding the Palestinians in Gaza now that there are no Jewish colonists to get caught in the cross-fire.

        Of course, Israelis love to indiscriminately bombard Palestinian civilian infrastructure, resulting in high civilian casualties. Then you turn around and blame it on Hamas ‘human shield’ tactics as if you have some psychic link with each and every dead Palestinian civilian and know if that particular civilian died because Hamas was next to them holding a gun to their head.

        And during this so-called period of terrifying rocket attacks, Israel fire far more munitions and killed far more people in the Gaza Strip. As always Israel has a monopoly on violence and this violence is simply a symptom of the larger problem – this is a colonial conflict.

        And before the occupation, Israel was still at war with the Palestinian people.

        The Israeli Arabs lived under martial law until 1966.

        In 2008-09, the last time Israel decided to massacre Palestinians for political points, Hamas requested a truce that would extend to the West Bank. The Israelis declined.

        I don’t think Hamas wants to keep getting their asses kicked. They never win because they don’t have the capacity to win.

        So it’s not unreasonable to think that if your racist, apartheid, colonial-settler State would get the F out of Palestine and stop stealing land and resources from the indigenous population (the Palestinians in case you’ve forgotten from sniffing Israel’s behind) – then Hamas would move towards a path of normalization.

        In fact, Hamas’s position is that the negotiations based on the 67 borders and blah blah are a first step towards resolution of the conflict.

        Here’s a good place to start, it’s from a US governmental agency – the United State’s Institute for Peace:

        ‘Hamas: Ideological Rigidity and Political Flexibility’

        link to usip.org

      • Bing Bong
        November 19, 2012, 9:51 am

        “The disengagement was a redeployment of settlers and troops to the West Bank. It was not, as you imply, some kind of benevolent gesture for peace.”

        Hamas still chose to use the freedom of the disengagement to upscale attacks against Israel. It doesn’t matter what Israel’s motives for disengaging were unless disengagement was itself a direct provocation which you seem to be fancifully implying.

        “Hamas requested a truce that would extend to the West Bank. The Israelis declined.

        I don’t think Hamas wants to keep getting their asses kicked. They never win because they don’t have the capacity to win.”

        Exactly, that is winning for Hamas, a military victory. As Israel could destroy Gaza it’s safe to assume that winning for Israel is something different to Hamas’ idea.

        Israel could ‘win’ in 2 weeks if they went by you and Hamas’ definition of the term. Why this means Israel has to indefinitely suffer rocket attacks is something you can answer I presume. Do you approve of Hamas’ rocket resistance in the face of the evil Israelis? If you do, don’t bother trying to score points about your assumptions of my level of compassion for human life.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 19, 2012, 10:16 am

        “I must have missed the bit where Hamas said they will stop the rockets if the occupation ends.”

        And I missed the part where the zios said they’d end their occupations if the rockets stop.

        “And there was plenty of violence against Israel pre-occupied territories”

        BFD. There’s not been a day for 70 years where the israelis aren’t attacking Palestininan civilians as a matter of policy.

        “and disengagement in 2005 has resulted in more rocket attacks not a starting block towards peace and Gaza independence.”

        Because “disengagement” entailed a blockade. And Gaza does not want independence; all of Palestine was freedom from the zionists.

      • Cliff
        November 19, 2012, 11:46 am

        @Bing Bong

        Hamas was driven into Gaza after the US and Israel plotted a coup against them using Fatah goon, Mohammed Dahlan.

        The narrative you are presenting has not bearing on reality. The failed US-Israel op. left Hamas in a stronger position than before.

        Rocket attacks out of Gaza occurred only sporadically following the engagement with a spike in frequency toward the end of 2005 (Sept., Nov., and Dec.).

        The rocket attacks afterwards are the usual tit-for-tat situation. Civilian casualties increased in mid-2006.

        From September 2005 to May 2007, armed Palestinian groups (not simply Hamas) fired around 2700 rockets, killed 4 Israeli civilians, injured 75 Israeli civilians, and killed 9 Israeli soldiers. The Qassam rockets are highly inaccurate and cannot be directed at a specific target. As a result, even Palestinians have been injured or killed (2) by them in this time period.

        HRW documented this period (immediately after disengagement):

        link to books.google.com

        In the SAME TIME PERIOD (after the disengagement), Israeli artillery – from September 2005 to May 2007 – fired 14,617 artillery shells into Gaza.

        In the SAME TIME PERIOD (after the disengagement), Israeli artillery – from September 2005 to May 2007 – killed 59 Palestinians in Gaza.

        In the SAME TIME PERIOD (after the disengagement), Israeli artillery – from September 2005 to May 2007 – wounded 270 Palestinians and did significant damage to civilian structures.

        Of the 38 Palestinians killed through September 2006, 17 were children under the age of 16, 12 were women, and one was a 60-year old man.

        A subsequent Israeli artillery attack on November 8, 2006 mortally wounded 23 Palestinians alone and injured 40 (again, all civilians).

        The HRW report goes on to say that Israel could not answer them as to whether or not the Palestinian civilian infrastructure that they (Israel) directly hit was suspected of housing combatants or those suspected to be combatants.

        The conditions of ‘victory’ for Hamas is not a military victory. They lack the capacity to beat the Israeli army. The HRW report states that given the fact that the Qassams are so crude and inaccurate, lacking specific targeting – the conclusion is that they are utilized to spread panic and fear.

        That makes sense. I’m sure if Hamas could, it would bombard the hell out of the IDF since it’s the IDF that is killing, not only them, but Palestinian civilians and the civilian infrastructure.

        This is illustrative of your BACKWARDS and ideologically narrow thinking.

        Israel is keeping Gaza on a steady diet of artillery fire and rations. The aim, as explained in the various leaked reports, is to ‘educate’ the unruly Palestinian civilian population. The conflict is not between Hamas and the IDF but between Israel and the Palestinian civilian population.

        This Israeli strategy of killing civilians and destroying civilian buildings has also been seen in other conflicts such as the 2006 Lebanon War wherein Israel killed 1000+ Lebanese civilians (and continued bombing Lebanon with the full knowledge that a cease-fire was coming).

        Sure, Israel could NUKE Gaza if it wanted to. That it doesn’t does not make it some benevolent actor. It is functioning within certain constraints. This argument that you’re making (‘Israel could have yada yada but it didn’t’) is the same bullshit spin that trolls spewed about the Flotilla massacre.

        Just because a State can do X tactic, doesn’t mean it WILL do X tactic.

        As to the rest of your post: who the hell said you have compassion? Back to BG with you, failure.

      • Hostage
        November 19, 2012, 1:38 pm

        Hamas still chose to use the freedom of the disengagement to upscale attacks against Israel.

        Upscaled? I’m glad that you at least admit that there were similar on-going attacks when the IDF was occupying Gaza. I remember reading an interview years ago in which Sharon cited that fact in defense of his decision to withdraw, i.e. the IDF presence had failed to prevent them.

        P.S. The requirement to treat Gaza and the West Bank as one entity had long since been ignored. Here is an article which explains that Israel had delayed its withdrawal in order to build a fence around Gaza. Sharon’s ‘Disengagement’: A Pacifier for the Majority link to electronicintifada.net

    • Cliff
      November 18, 2012, 6:13 pm

      Gee, if only more Zionists were as sensitive to the loss of human life as ‘Bing Bong’ the XBox-Live intellectual.

      Then this conflict would be over. ‘One rocket is enough’ is a pretty good standard. Let’s see you pretenders apply it to yourselves.

  23. eGuard
    November 18, 2012, 8:36 am

    Journalism, at last. Thanks Phan. Can’t wait to see New York Times making their great graphics from this.

  24. eGuard
    November 18, 2012, 8:40 am

    Just one minor note. I suggest not tho use the phrases Operation Cast Lead and Operation Pillar of Cloud any more. It is not up to Israel to name and frame it.

    First suggestions: Israeli attack on Gaza 2008/2009 and Israeli attack on Gaza 2012

  25. Reuben_Manhattan
    November 18, 2012, 9:07 am

    While the Israelis have solid numbers of rocket attacks that they can present to the media, the Palestinians get so many numerous things done to them in many different shapes and forms. Whether it is price tag attacks against churches and mosques, agricultural damage from settler attacks, sabotage upon their water supplies, sabotage to their farms, deliberate delays to keep the Palestinians from harvesting their crops, flowers and fruits, murdering a fisherman, murdering a surfer, so damn many things that they go through that cause so much damage economically and hundreds of times worse than any Qassam that is landed into an empty field or the Negev. These multiple daily occurrences need to be quantified into a number of “Israeli rockets” to present to the media and counted just as the zionists like to do for presentation to the public. More than likely they too need a good PR team to organize this. A website with a timeline that coincides to each “rocket” attack the Israelis fire off at the Palestinians.
    If for example Israel announces that has doubled the settlement funding quietly “so that ‘elements in Israel and abroad’ would not attempt to prevent it” then that should be counted as 100 rockets in one attack.

    link to haaretz.com

    A settler confiscates a Palestinian spring used for agriculture and turns it into a tourist attraction and boasts that “hes keeping arabs out” and puts up signs in plain public view that say “Death to all arabs” count that as 50 Israeli rockets.

    link to haaretz.com

    These propagandists counting all these rockets coming from Gaza are trying to claim that these “Gazans” are not the same as the people in the W. Bank and E. Jerusalem when in fact many of these people were expelled from the very places the Israelis are encroaching upon or damaging.

    While Israel has the right to defense, so do the Palestinians who have no defense against these Israeli “rockets” launched on a daily , and sometimes hourly basis. They may not leave pock marks, Israelis being treated for shock or intact rocket casings that they can take pretty little pictures of , as the Israelis do, but it does cause them extreme emotional, and monetary damage. There is absolutely no comparison!

  26. amigo
    November 18, 2012, 9:11 am

    Al Jazeera is reporting that a Building housing international Media has been attacked by Israel,s brave Heroes.

    BBC /Italian and journalists from other were all in the same building.

    Israel,s excuse is that they have warned people to stay away from anywhere Hamas are.

    Poor Israel, heading down the road of self destruction but it is just sad that they have to take innocent people with them.

    • Reuben_Manhattan
      November 18, 2012, 11:22 am

      Journalists and UN (such as in Qana 2 times), and UN schools are never safe and of course always terrorist bases according to the Israelis. Sometimes it makes you wonder when the “terrorists” claim responsibility for attacks and Israel is always quick to deny, you know things are and have gone topsy-turvy.

      An artillery shell lands in a house of a family of 18 Palestinians having dinner, killing most of the family its a malfunction . A family on the beach having a picnic (which is what set off the very first situation during Hamas’s truce years ago) blown to bits by an Israeli warship is blamed on “Palestinian ordinance buried in the sand for hiding”

      When will the self-declared morally superior Israelis finally display some actual morals? After they have cleansed the place of all Christian and Muslim Palestinians is my guess.

  27. Andreas Schlueter
    November 18, 2012, 11:51 am

    It appears Israel´s government wants the region in flames! Why? The old hardcore Zionist dream of the “Transfer” of the Palestinians is still alive! They want to solve their problem with the “Red Indians”, gruntling: but the Americans were also left alone to solve their “problem”. Difficulty for them: growing resistance in the diaspora against the filthy claim to commit their crimes in the name of “all Jews” in this world coursing moral deligitimation and growing awareness of many people. So time is running out for their dream which is the nightmare of the Palestinians. Only an all out war in the region could be used to “sell” the Transfer as necessary for Israel´s “survival”. Thought that Iran war could inflame the whole region, but US growing fear of “overtsretching” makes the US hesitate. So they want to torch the surounding directly. I think it´s not only the elections that let them go mad!
    But more and more people understand: link to wipokuli.wordpress.com
    Andreas Schlüter
    Sociologist
    Berlin, Germany

  28. Mayhem
    November 18, 2012, 5:03 pm

    The obfuscation of fools.

    • Cliff
      November 18, 2012, 5:57 pm

      Title of your autobiography? One-man play off-off-off-broadway? New single from the Zionist ripoff ‘Tears For Fears’ band, ‘Lies For Cries’?

  29. hophmi
    November 19, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Sorry, but this argument is so patently ridiculous that it requires a response.

    There is, first of all, ONE REASON AND ONE REASON ONLY that Israeli civilian casualty rates have not been higher. That is because Israeli civilians can access bomb shelters. More recently, many rockets have been exploded in the air by the Iron Dome system. Without the bomb shelters, many more Israelis would be dead. These rockets have landed on schools and homes many times. You don’t seem to acknowledge that.

    As far as the casualty numbers. By all means, let’s establish the correct casualty numbers, ON BOTH SIDES.

    For the record, I see nothing on this graphic that says that all casualties were directly related to exploding rockets. Everything the IDF does in Gaza is to prevent terrorist attacks, whether by rocket fire or by other means.

    I count a total of 8 Gaza-related Israeli deaths in 2006. Besides the four you mentioned, two IDF soldiers were killed by snipers while trying to stop rocket fire from Gaza. Another two IDF soldiers were killed during the infiltration of Israel from Gaza in which Gilad Shalit was kidnapped.

    For 2007, I count 5 Gaza-related deaths.

    For 2008, I count 17 Gaza-related deaths.

    For 2009, I count 1 Gaza-related death.

    For 2010, I count 3 Gaza-related deaths.

    For 2011, I count 4 Gaza-related deaths.

    link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

    So I think it’s off by 6. You can ask the IDF for an accounting. Let me know what they say.

    But more importantly, the casualty counts have little to do with the conflict, nor with Hamas aims, which is to terrorize Israeli civilians through the war crime of firing rockets into civilian areas. There could be one dead a year, and it would be too much. Hamas fires these rockets to paralyze Israeli society and to kill civilians.

    • Cliff
      November 20, 2012, 3:54 am

      No, the ONE reason why Israeli casualties aren’t higher is because Gazan militants use crude, inaccurate rockets.

      HRW’s analysis > your arm-chair partisan hackery, Zionist.

      As HRW says, the only purpose they can deduce for the rockets is to spread fear since they surely can’t compete with Israel militarily.

      Israel fired 15,000 ARTILLERY SHELLS between Sept. 2005 and May 2007 (disengagement and immediately after) alone.

      Naturally, Israel kills more, injures more, destroys more civilian infrastructure.

      And this is on top of the occupation, colonialism, apartheid and crimes symptomatic of such practices.

      So sure, Hamas fires rockets to incite fear. Is that your great rebuttal? I say, give Hamas equal footing so only your favorite army gets scared – and hopefully, demolished.

    • Phan Nguyen
      November 21, 2012, 4:25 am

      Hophmi, you’re changing the subject. You’re talking about “Gaza-related deaths,” whatever that means, which is not what the IDF infographic was depicting. My table refers to deaths resulting from rockets and mortars fired from Gaza into Israel. If you refer to the notes at the bottom of my article, I give clear details about what was included and what was excluded.

      If we go by the deaths you cite, then it becomes a circular argument similar to the circular arguments I point out at the end of the article. Do you really want to argue that the reason Israel initiated Operation Pillar of Cloud in 2012 was because a soldier was killed by a sniper in northern Gaza in Operation Cast Lead 2009?

      You’re just embarrassing yourself.

      • hophmi
        November 21, 2012, 11:43 am

        “Hophmi, you’re changing the subject.”

        Actually, it’s you who changed the subject. Nowhere on the infographic does it say that all deaths were directly caused by a fired rocket.

        For me, any Gaza-related death since 2005 is rocket-related. Virtually all of Israel’s activity there is related to the rocket fire. You’re dissembling here. The rocket fire is an ongoing problem. Israel is at war now because this nonsense has been ongoing since Disengagement.

      • Talkback
        November 21, 2012, 12:51 pm

        “For me, any Gaza-related death since 2005 is rocket-related.”

        Of course its is. You have to believe this. The reality somehow is different:
        link to huffingtonpost.com
        link to blog.thejerusalemfund.org

      • Phan Nguyen
        November 21, 2012, 1:02 pm

        “Nowhere on the infographic does it say that all deaths were directly caused by a fired rocket.”

        Then please explain to me what the numbers refer to. Since you’ve been checking the fatality numbers as well, please explain how the infographic comes up with those exact numbers.

        Unless you can do so, there’s no point of continuing this discussion, because so far your argument has been based on your qualifier, “For me…,” which in this case is the equivalent of “Because I say so.”

      • hophmi
        November 21, 2012, 1:07 pm

        “Then please explain to me what the numbers refer to. Since you’ve been checking the fatality numbers as well, please explain how the infographic comes up with those exact numbers.”

        That I can’t answer without checking with the IDF, which is what I urge you to do, just as, doubtless, you cannot completely account for the fatality counts in pro-Palestinian infographics.

        But it’s clear enough that it doesn’t refer to just people who were direct victims of rocket attacks, and nor should it.

        But your analysis is largely a waste of time. Whether it’s one a year or ten, it represents the same threat.

      • eljay
        November 21, 2012, 1:15 pm

        >> The rocket fire is an ongoing problem.

        A substantially larger problem is the supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel’s 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder, a campaign it has the power to halt immediately and completely…but refuses to.

        Funny how Zio-supremacists always manage to gloss over that fact.

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2012, 8:28 pm

        Israel is at war now because this nonsense has been ongoing since Disengagement.

        In fact, both the “war” and the “nonsense” was going on in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank before the Disengagement. But Israel couldn’t very well assassinate IDF commanders for failing to stop the rockets – and it still refuses to stop persecuting the Palestinians.

      • Phan Nguyen
        November 21, 2012, 9:05 pm

        “Whether it’s one a year or ten, it represents the same threat.”

        I wasn’t going to respond anymore, but this is classic Hophmi:

        1. The IDF creates an infographic stressing particular numbers to support an argument.

        2. I demonstrate that the numbers are absolutely wrong.

        3. You defend the IDF and its infographic by claiming that my own numbers are incorrect, and you provide alternate numbers based on a totally different category of your own choosing, which matches neither my own numbers nor the IDF’s.

        4. I ask you to prove what the IDF numbers mean.

        5. Now you say that the numbers don’t matter.

        It proves a point I was wanting to make: It’s a numbers game until the numbers don’t work in Israel’s favor; then numbers are irrelevant.

    • eljay
      November 21, 2012, 8:09 am

      >> Everything the IDF does in Gaza is to prevent terrorist attacks …

      What is the IDF doing to end Israel’s 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder? To dismantle the settlements? To vacate all stolen and colonized land outside of Israel’s declared 1948 borders? To work toward a just and mutually-beneficial peace with Palestinians?

      Anything? Anything at all?

  30. Mikhael
    November 20, 2012, 4:08 am

    Whats’ the point of marking the non-Jewish rocket fatalities with an asterisk? They were all Israeli citizens (or, in the case of the Thai worker, guests in Israel who were supposed to be under Israeli protection). How does that mitigate the war crime of deliberately targeting of civilians of another state? Only one of the non-Jewish citizens was serving in the IDF (so in theory you can argue he was a legitimate military target), the others were targeted just because they were Israeli (or in the case of the Thai worker, presumed to be Israeli).

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 20, 2012, 8:55 am

      “Whats’ the point of marking the non-Jewish rocket fatalities with an asterisk?”

      The zionist apartheid state extends rights to people depending on whether a person is a Jew or not, so what’s the problem with continuing that process when tabulating this information?

    • Phan Nguyen
      November 21, 2012, 4:39 am

      I pointed it out in part to refute Michael Oren’s rhetoric that the rockets are a genocidal threat to the Jewish people. It is also useful to emphasize the completely nondiscriminatory nature of the rocket attacks, which undermines the claims that the rockets target Jewish children or kindergartens or whatever the latest baseless rhetoric is.

      Anyway, you should direct your concerns to Ma’ariv, which took the picture of an East Asian and presumably non-Jewish mother seeking shelter from rockets, and photoshopped her to make her appear Jewish.

      In Ma’ariv‘s world, non-Jewish victims of rocket attacks are insignificant. I wanted to restore some of the significance.

      I neither claimed nor implied that it mitigates a war crime.

      • hophmi
        November 21, 2012, 11:49 am

        “It is also useful to emphasize the completely nondiscriminatory nature of the rocket attacks, which undermines the claims that the rockets target Jewish children or kindergartens or whatever the latest baseless rhetoric is.”

        Really? Where is it useful except in the hardcore pro-Palestinian partisan community? Do you read the statements of Hamas leaders? Do you think it’s the Thai workers they’re targeting? Palestinians Israelis? (How many rockets were fired at Jaffa or Umm al-Fahd?) By your logic, if an Israeli rocket kills an international, it means Israel is not targeting Palestinian terrorists. I assume you agree with that argument.

        In fact, your position is completely contradictory. You admit the rockets are nondiscriminatory, which means no effort is made to ensure that targets are not civilian. Therefore, you acknowledge that they are a genocidal threat. You seem to think that the only reason Hamas is nondiscriminatory in targeting is because they do not possess accurate missiles. It is the reverse. Hamas rhetoric strongly suggests that if they had larger missiles, they would use them to kill as many Israelis as possible.

      • Phan Nguyen
        November 21, 2012, 1:02 pm

        “I assume you agree…you acknowledge…you seem to think…”

        No I don’t. That’s why you’re not worth anwering.

      • hophmi
        November 21, 2012, 1:12 pm

        “No I don’t. That’s why you’re not worth anwering.”

        Then your position is contradictory, and frankly, disingenuous and ridiculous. You look like a fool arguing that Hamas doesn’t target Jewish children. They say they target Jews. It’s not a mystery.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 21, 2012, 2:13 pm

        “You admit the rockets are nondiscriminatory, which means no effort is made to ensure that targets are not civilian.”

        As oppose to the israelis, who seem to relish murdering babies in every one of these conflicts. “Accidentally” of course. Yeah right.

  31. Issack
    November 21, 2012, 1:18 am

    People are people, when we start numbering and weighing the scale on the dead are we ourselves to blame its pretty immature of us to equate lives with asterisk, come on guys this is 2012 wake up!

    http://www.politicsonsteroids.wordpress.com

  32. Mikhael
    November 21, 2012, 1:26 pm

    “I pointed it out in part to refute Michael Oren’s rhetoric that the rockets are a genocidal threat to the Jewish people.”

    I’ve never read Oren claiming that the rockets in and ofy themselves pose an actual concrete genocidal threat to the Jewish People in its entirety. He and others have, however, correctly pointed out Hamas’s genocidal vision for Israeli Jews once they achieve their goal of an Islamist state in Palestine (as outlined in the Hamas charter). While Hamas’s rockets cannot achieve Hama’s long-term goals, they still are a real threat to the life, limb and property of Israeli citizens of any ethnic background or religion within their range as well as non-Israelis working in or visiting Israel, and thus falling under the protection of the Israeli government. Onefamilytogether.org is a civic organization collecting aid for victims of terror in Israel since the outbreak of the first Intefada, they have a virtual memorial site and continually send out updated posters to local synagogues in the NY area whenever there is new victim. They do not distinguish between the Jewish and non-Jewish fatalities and it’s not hard to figure out that someone named Mohammed Talusi (killed by Hezbollah rockets in 2006) or someone named Li Peizhong (killed in a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv in 2003) were not Jewish. Israel has a responsibility to protect all of its citizens and guests from terror.

    As for the Maariv photo, since they originally showed the photo of the Asian-appearing mother and daughter cowering in a shelter from a previous round of Hamas rockets several months ago, how are they hiding anything? This time they ran an illustration (albeit clearly based on what appears to be the original photo) that didn’t identify itself as an actual photo of a current event. Big deal. (And the originally photographed mother and child may very well have been from the Benei Menashe community of Jews who’ve immigrated to recent years from Mizoram and Manipur, India, manhy of them live in the Sderot area).

  33. Monkeyman
    November 16, 2014, 10:10 pm

    Is there anyway we can get an update on this for 2014?

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