[Note: this is not an actual IAF letter, though I’m sure they don’t mind my going to bat for them.]
We’ve been very busy the past week and a half, flying hundreds of missions to take out terror targets so our families can function without fear of getting killed or running to the shelter. But we took time out of our busy schedule to check up on the news.
We were horrified to learn that many are calling us baby-killers and Nazis, based on graphic photos we will not post here. A protester called us murderers. A normally moderate politician accused us of “buying Israel a respite with the blood of literally thousands of children.”
We take offense at that.
To avoid accusations of bias, we decided to refer you to the New York Times, hardly a hasbara organ, which has been listing the numbers since the operation began. They compiled the number of air strikes from our guys, but the casualty lists come from the Gaza Health Ministry, a body which has no interest in sugar-couting the death count.
Here’s the breakdown for the days when there were only air strikes:
Day 1: 220 targets, 24 deaths.
Day 2: 326 targets, 38 deaths.
Day 3: 210 targets, 23 deaths.
Day 4: 235 targets, 23 deaths.
Day 5: 180 targets, 48 deaths.
Day 6: 173 targets, 13 deaths.
Day 7: 163 targets, 16 deaths.
Day 8: 96 targets, 10 deaths.
Day 9: 176 targets, 27 deaths.
(Ground invasion after that, no concrete data)
As you can see, on any given day, the overwhelming majority of air strikes resulted in no deaths at all. Nor is this unique; during Operation Pillar of Defense, we struck 1500 targets. Only about 150-200 people were killed.
Nor were we busy killing mostly babies. al-Jazeera and al-Akhbar, both pro-Palestinian sites, have published lists of the dead, based on the Gaza Health Ministry figures. A reader at the evil pro-Israel site Israellycool took the numbers up to July 20 and did a breakdown.
Lo and behold, it turned out that the overwhelming majority of dead were adult males of fighting age. Only a small percentage were children under the age of 10. Even if we add those up to age 17, some of whom might be combatants, that still adds up to 12% of dead. Hardly “hundreds of children”.
We skimmed over the list and the breakdown looks legit. You are invited to do it yourself if you don’t trust us. We are also confident that the breakdown for the period of the ground operation will how similar results, once all the info is in.
The debate over civilian casualties, terrorism and urban warfare is a legitimate one. All we ask is that you do so based on the facts, not shock photos meant to enrage rather than enlighten.