It would appear that the graphic below (which appeared in a recent BBC News website article titled “Gaza conflict: Israeli PM Netanyahu says war was ‘victory’“) can be said to represent the BBC’s summing up of Operation Protective Edge.
As we see, the BBC is still promoting statistics and civilian/combatant casualty ratios provided by the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health and UN OCHA which relies on information provided by political NGOs.
“UN estimates 70% of deaths are civilians”
The Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Centre has now published the fourth part of its analysis of casualties in the Gaza Strip (previous chapters can be found here, here and here) and has so far examined a total of 667 names.
“Weighting the findings of the current examination and the findings of the three previous examinations (detailed in the previous documents) yields the following results:
273 of those killed were terrorist operatives(65 + 66 + 71 + 71).
316 of those killed were non-involved civilians (76 + 93 + 66 + 81).
The identity of 78 people who were killed is unknown at this stage (34 + 26 + 15 + 3). Therefore, it is not possible to determine whether they were terrorist operatives or non-involved civilians.
Of the 589 dead who could be identified on the three lists that were examined, terrorist operatives constitute approximately 46% of the names. Non-involved civilians constitute approximately 54% of the names. This ratio may vary as the ITIC continues to examine the names of those killed.”
As we also see, there is still no evidence to suggest that the BBC has independently verified the statistics it quotes and promotes and BBC audiences have still not been informed of that lack of independent verification or of the political backdrop to the figures cited.
Readers may be interested to know of the existence of a petition to try to persuade the BBC to correct its obviously problematic policy.
Notable too is the fact that at no point during its last seven weeks of coverage of the conflict has the BBC attempted to put the topic of civilian/combatant casualty ratios in Gaza into their broader context. Audiences in the UK and other Western countries have not been informed how those ratios compare to other conflicts in which their own armed forces were involved. Some interesting thoughts on that topic and many others come from former BBC journalist Richard Miron.
“Israel must be held to account not in comparison to elsewhere in the Middle East but rather to other Western armies operating under similar conditions. And yet in reading and watching the coverage out of Gaza it seems the media held Israel to an altogether different standard. Civilian casualties were often portrayed as the consequence of deliberate Israeli vengefulness and bloodletting.
I have seen for myself how Western armies operate during conflicts in the Middle East, the Balkans and elsewhere, and tragically there is no such thing as a clean conflict. I still have the photos I took in an Afghan village of what remained after a US air strike destroyed a family compound killing about fifty civilians in pursuit of one Al Qaeda operative. While there has been some questioning by the media over the extent of civilian casualties (numbering in their tens of thousands) in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, it has been muted by comparison to Gaza. […]
[…] the (Western) media must also account for itself and for its own conduct including apparent omissions and failures in the reporting of the conflict. It must question where reporting may have ended and emoting began, if it held Israel to a standard apart from all others, and why it allowed Hamas a free pass in controlling the flow of information. “
Read the whole piece here.
BBC Radio 4’s ‘More or Less’ does damage control on Gaza casualty figures article
BBC content continues to mislead on Gaza casualties