Monday, November 19, 2007

Palestinian vs. Israeli Deaths

If you're interested in information regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, B'Tselem's website is a great place to look. They have multiple pages devoted to statistics about fatalities, homes demolished by the Israeli government, deportation of Palestinians, restriction of movement, and the separation barrier.

B'Tselem is the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, and was established in 1989 by a group of prominent (Israeli) academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. It endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, ensure that Israel complies with its obligations under international law, and help protect the human rights of Palestinians.

"B'Tselem" in Hebrew literally means "in the image of," and is also used as a synonym for human dignity. The word is taken from Genesis 1:27, "And God created humans in God's image. In the image of God did God create them." According to B'Tselem, it is in this spirit that the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "all human beings are born equal in dignity and rights."

Here are some statistics from their website regarding death tolls (the data is from 9 Sept. 2000-31 Oct. 2007):
  • 4,345 Palestinians killed by Israelis.
  • 863 were minors.
  • 2,043 were not partaking in hostilities of any kind. (I find it very disturbing that one of the best trained militaries in the world should have a nearly 50% collateral damage rating . . .)
  • 1,029 Israelis killed by Palestinians.
  • 119 were minors.
  • 704 were civilians.

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