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Watchdog: Al Jazeera’s Gaza Fatalities Data Indicates Israel Killed Mostly Combatant-Age Males, Not Women or Children

July 15, 2014 11:17 am 28 comments
A post on Facebook showing how a photo of a dying Syrian child on the cover of The Telegraph homepage was being used to portray a Gazan child being shot by Israel. Photo: Twitter / @docnatecohen.

A post on Facebook showing how a photo of a dying Syrian child on the cover of The Telegraph homepage was being used to portray a Gazan child being shot by Israel. Photo: Twitter / @docnatecohen.

Data published by Al Jazeera on Monday shows that in its ongoing operation in Gaza Israel killed mainly combatant-age males, not women or children, according to CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, contradicting media reports that tried to paint Israel’s Operation Protective Edge as indiscriminately killing civilians.

In a study published on Monday, CAMERA said that a close read of the data “shows that, as in past hostilities, the fatalities are disproportionately [compared to the overall population] among young males, which corresponds with the characteristics of combatants. Males over 40 years old are also disproportionately represented. Some of the fatalities in those over 40 years of age likely represent senior members of terrorist organizations.”

CAMERA based its conclusions on comparing the data of 150 men and 20 women reported to have been killed to the broader population make up in Gaza, where men and woman each account for 50 per cent of the population and the median age is 15 years old.

“Notably, only about 12 percent of the total fatalities are female, though females make up half the population,” CAMERA said. “Also, the median age of Gazans is reported to be around 15. Males under 15 make up just 13 percent of the total fatalities even though they represent half of all males in the Gaza Strip.”

CAMERA graphed a breakdown of the 150 reported male fatalities, excluding 19 whose ages were not listed, though the group noted that one of those was described as a member of Islamic Jihad. Due to space constraints, it also excluded three deaths of males over 65, with a total of 128 on the chart.

The chart shows that 83 deaths were of men between the ages of 16 and 39, 28 were men over 40 years old and 20 were under 16 years old.

CAMERA also noted that the “information provided by Qatar-owned Al Jazeera should not be accepted at face value, as the emirate has close ties to the Hamas-led Gazan government,” and said it would update its analysis as more data was released.

The group concluded that the analysis bore out is conclusion: “Media coverage often parrots the line fed by Gazan authorities that ‘most of the casualties are civilians’ despite the well-established propensity of Gazan authorities to exaggerate the proportion of civilian casualties.”

The conflict has also been characterized as a “media war,” where Hamas supporters have flooded social media channels with photos of gruesome deaths, often from the ongoing Syria conflict in 2012, to elicit more sympathy for their cause.

CAMERA's analysis of fatalities in Gaza, based on data from Al Jazeera. Photo: Screenshot.

CAMERA's analysis of fatalities in Gaza, based on data from Al Jazeera. Photo: Screenshot.


  • Countries that deliberately started a war against another on that country’s holiest day, cannot call itself God-fearing, that’s why it lost that war against Israel like every other war.


  • Here is a study of the most recent data. Similar conclusions but larger data set and more pictures :)

  • Julian Cheyne

    If a male is of combatant age that does not make him a combatant.

    • You are right. It means that all the data disseminated by hamas is false since they falsely propagates that 80 percent of capacities are women and children. Now that the lie is put to rest we can safely assume that the rest of their figures are lies too. And as in the past they certainly included casualties from their own rocket misfires, the ‘collaborators’they themselves murdered, and anyone else they murder without trial like those who disagree with their terroristic, murderous, suicidal policies.

  • The Median age of Gazans is not 15 like everything else they are blatantly lying about their demographics, Bar Ilan researcher even caught them counting Jerusalem demographics 3 times, a few years ago.

  • removing weapons from the scene was an old IRA trick. Tried and tested. Even the BBC has now admitted that photos submitted have been manipulated, staged or are from other conflicts.

  • Israel Lover

    To accept any information at face value from Hamas and report it as accurate data is sloppy lazy journalism at its best and pernicious at its worst.

  • John Train — you nailed it brother. If media used the definitions you posted the messy ME story would be much clearer. Israel’s government under Bibi does a pretty good job of telling/clarifying the truth of the story but could do better.
    US/European media coverage is so anti-Israel/Jewish that the agencies deliberately choose not to get the story right.
    Good work … !

  • THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW HAMAS LIE. WATCH EGYPTIAN TV WHERE YOU CAN SEE HOW THE HAMASLEADERS ARE HIDING IN QATAR. Beside that why do hamas men hide behind women and children when they shoot? Why are they such cowards and losers? If they themselves don’t respect the life of their families, how can they expect that other people would value that?

  • The rockets that Hamas fires into Israel, are they programmed to discriminate between children, women, and adult combatants? Why should Israel be expected to respect the life of Palestinian women and children when Hamas rejoices over the death of Israeli women and children?

    • Why does Israel respect the lives of women, children, and non-combatants – because their culture is based upon the commands of the word of G-D!!!
      – which is also the basis for Christian respect for life.

    • Joy Moss-Rendell

      Simply Muhamed because Jewish people respect life and no matter who and what the circumstances they try their best not to destroy life.

    • muhamed.

      Thank you for your fair minded comment but I would hope that every Jew or Israeli would respect the life of any Palestinian non combatants, I would be ashamed if they were not.

      Israel just does what she has to do. Let’shope for peace one day.

    • Philip Blom

      Muslims don’t just rejoice about the death of infidel women and children, but also about the death of their own women and children as martyrs, killing themselves as jihadists.

  • Reform School

    Don’t look for this on Guardian, Reuters, NYT, NPR or BBC. Lamestream media never let facts distort labels nor libels.

  • I hope that everyone who reads these exposes of the biased reporting will also contact the media and tell them to adhere to their own professional standards.

  • enough with these people . when will Israel and the world will be freed of their disgusting nonsense ?

  • Bernard Ross

    its all a result to f the european war against the Jews

  • Also, Hamas is known to drive dead bodies to the sites of explosions to make it seems as if more ppl were killed.

  • What does it say about the Western, leftist media when al-Jazeera is being less biased than the BBC, CNN or the NY Slimes?

  • they always lie

    their photos are also lies

  • this piece of misinformation I hear regurgitating about “…most of the casualties are civilians…” is utter nonsense to anyone who the slightest bit of critical thinking. The irregular fighters (some would call “freedom fighters”) in Gaza do not wear uniforms… as such the only thing that tells them apart from “civilians” is if they are carrying weapons… how well does a dead body hold a AK 47?

    • Timo Hartwick

      @ uri lessner ; quite right. furthermore, one does not need an AK 47 to use mortars, rockets and other long-range weapons. for ‘photo opportunities’, if there were any weapons around dead bodies, how long does it take remove them?

    • Israel should immediately publicly introduce and broadcast a new and more accurate accounting vocabulary when dealing with reported Palestinian causalities:

      NOT militants….BUT Hamas Terrorists

      NOT civilians …..BUT Terror Support Volunteers ( those that volunteer as human shields: those that disregard alerts to evacuate, etc,)

      BUT Involuntary Human shields ( those under 12 who were not evacuated after an alert: those that are present at an Hamas launch,storage or operations site; etc)

      “Civilians “should be used only for those who happen to be innocently close by.

      Media should be bombarded with corrections if they do not include this accounting in their reports.

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