This category is used to classify incidents, such as terror attacks, which can be attributed to a particular terrorist organization; it is used as well to identify the groups targeted by Israeli “targeted killings”.
This category provides a broad description of the type of incident that occurred; examples include “Terror Attack”, “Roadblock Confrontation”, and so on.
This is a more specific category, identifying the particular form of violence which led to injury or loss of life. Examples include “Car Bomb”, “Suicide Bomb”, and “Lynching”.
The Incident Target represents the immediate goal of an attack, as opposed to any broader political aims. Examples include “Civilian”, “Vehicle”, “Hotel”, and “Militant”.
|Incident Confidence Level
This category reflects our considered opinion as to the reliability of a report. Confidence Level as applied to incidents represents the degree of certitude that the incident itself took place; applied to individual casualties, it represents the level of certainty that a particular individual was injured or killed in the incident. It is possible that an incident itself may have a high Confidence Level while some of the casualties attributed to the incident have a lower Confidence Level. This is the case where the incident itself was well attested, but some of the reports of casualties attributed to the incident were less reliable.
Confidence levels are as follows:
|Side Responsible for Incident
This category assigns responsibility for initiating an incident – for example, “Israel,” “Palestinians,” “Probably Israel,” “Probably Palestinians,” or “Unclear.” In the case of a terrorist attack on Israeli civilians by Palestinians, the Side Responsible is listed as “Palestinians”. The same is true of “work accidents.” In the case of a targeted killing of a Palestinian militant carried out by Israel, the Side Responsible is listed as “Israel.” In the majority of incidents—Roadblock Confrontations, Violent Clashes, etc—the Side Responsible is listed as “Unclear.”
Note that Side Responsible in this study refers to physical responsibility only, and does not indicate a moral judgement.
|Side Responsible for Casualty
In the majority of incidents, assigning responsibility for an incident to one side or another is insufficient for purposes of analysis. An incident may be initiated by Palestinians—for instance, an armed attack by Hamas militants on an Israeli bus—but end with the militants being killed by Israelis. In such a case, the Side Responsible for Incident would be “Palestinians”, while the Side Responsible for Casualty would be “Israel” in the case of each militant, and “Palestinians” in the case of each Israeli casualty. There are also cases in which Palestinians killed Palestinians and Israelis killed Israelis.
As with Side Responsible for Incident, Side Responsible for Casualty represents only the physical responsibility for causing death or injury, and expresses no judgement as to the appropriateness of that action.
This is one of our most significant ways of classifying casualties, and represents the degree to which someone killed or injured during the course of the al-Aqsa conflict can be considered an “innocent victim”. Our decisions in defining the Combatant Level categories and assigning casualties to these categories are made with reference to ICT’s published definition of terrorism, explained in Boaz Ganor’s article, “Terrorism: No Prohibition Without Definition”.
The status of “probable combatant” has also been assigned to people who knowingly took some action which would lead to increased danger, such as entering an area in which fighting was going on or which security officials had declared off-limits.
Mere possession of a weapon does not imply combatant status. A civilian driving with a weapon in his/her car, or a pedestrian with a holstered pistol, is normally considered a noncombatant. However, a civilian who encounters a terror attack in progress and draws his/her weapon in an attempt to stop or prevent the attack is a combatant once the weapon is out of its holster.
|Casualty Confidence Level
This category reflects our considered opinion as to the reliability of a report of an individual death. A Confidence Level is applied to individual casualties as well as to incidents because we found that in many cases an incident itself was well attested, but some of the reports of casualties attributed to the incident were less reliable.
Confidence levels are as follows:
Where known, the age of the casualty is entered into the database. There are a number of casualties, particularly on the Palestinian side, where the age is unknown, or uncertain.
The gender of casualties has turned out to be central to our analysis, as discussed below.
|Nationality and Secondary Nationality
The casualty’s nationality is obviously at the heart of any comparison of casualties between the two sides. In some cases, the casualty had dual citizenship. For this reason, we’ve included a field for Secondary Nationality.
This category was added in order to serve as a basis for a geographical analysis of both casualties and incidents.
Casualty Type describes whether the casualty was killed or injured, and if the latter, the extent of the injury. The Casualty Types are:
This category describes the casualty’s membership in an existing non-governmental organization. This is particularly useful in the case of Palestinian combatant fatalities, who were largely active members of known terrorist groups, rather than individuals acting on their own.
A note on “Combatants” and “Civilians”
Media reports frequently discuss the fatalities of the al-Aqsa conflict in terms of the number of “civilian fatalities” on each side. We have deliberately avoided this usage. In any conflict between a country with conventionally-organized military and police forces and an opposing force mostly composed of non-uniformed “irregulars”, the uniformed forces cannot avoid killing a disproportionate number of “civilians” – since even their most deadly opponents are usually not members of an official military, and in many cases have perfectly respectable “day jobs”.
In the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the distinction between Palestinian “civilians” and members of the plethora of official Palestinian Authority security forces is even harder to make, since many Palestinian policemen (and members of the other P.A. uniformed forces) combine their official service with membership in one or more unofficial groups such as Hamas or the various arms of Fatah. When Palestinians in this situation have killed Israeli noncombatants, they have generally done so in their “civilian” capacity.
At first glance, it should be easier to determine which Israeli fatalities are “civilians”. However, even here the distinction between “civilians” and members of official security forces paints a somewhat distorted picture. A substantial number of Israeli fatalities, especially those killed inside “Israel proper”, have been members of the civil police, or noncombatant members of the Israel Defense Forces – such as office workers and mechanics.
As a result of all these factors, dividing this conflict's fatalities into “civilians” and “non-civilians” over-emphasizes the “civilian” status of many of the Palestinian victims, and to a degree distorts the significance of Israeli fatalities as well. At best, such categorization paints an inaccurate picture of the conflict; and in some instances, those who use these categories are clearly being disingenuous. (As an extreme example, one report in a Saudi newspaper contrasted some 1,400 Palestinian “civilians” killed with about 530 Israeli “soldiers and settlers”.)
For this reason, we
chose to classify those killed by their actual combatant
status, according to the criteria laid out in the “Combatant Level”
above. While this method requires a degree of judgement in categorizing
those killed, it offers some hope of making sense of an assymmetrical
whereas the alternative system, while easier to apply, cannot provide
Results and Trends
1. General Trends in Overall Fatalities
The first impression conveyed by the standard “Intifada body count” report is that people on both sides of the conflict have been getting killed at a more or less steady pace, with Palestinian fatalities outnumbering Israeli fatalities by a factor of almost three to one. A glance at Graphs 2.1 and 2.2 quickly dispels this illusion.
These graphs display all Israeli and Palestinian fatalities month-by-month, with no categorization or qualification. They show that Israeli casualties have varied widely from one month to the next, but have shown a general upward trend. (This trend is somewhat masked by the especially high death toll of March 2002, which “flattens” the rest of the graph.) Palestinian fatalities, on the other hand, were very high for the first few months of the conflict, then remained at a lower level – although still generally above the level of Israeli casualties. They increased again starting in September 2001 – possibly as a result of new, more aggressive Israeli counter-terrorism tactics adopted after the September 11 terror attacks on the United States. Large numbers of Palestinians were killed in March and April 2002, in the course of Israel’s “Operation Protective Shield” incursions into Palestinian-Authority-ruled cities; this operation was a response to a rash of major Palestinian terror attacks.
In order to show these trends more clearly, it is helpful to correct (or “normalize”) for the fact that the al-Aqsa conflict began on 27 September 2000* – so that the first “month” shown on our graphs is in fact only four days long. By multiplying by 30/4, we can correctly display a value corresponding to the rate at which people were being killed during these first four days. Graphs 2.3 and 2.4 show this correction, as well as trend-lines to clarify the changes in the rates of death.
* Note that we consider the beginning of the “al-Aqsa Intifada” to have been on 27 September 2000, the date of the first Palestinian attack on Israelis carried out by official Palestinian Authority personnel.
While the monthly number of Israeli fatalities is rather chaotic, there has clearly been an upward trend in the fatalities during both “good” and “bad” months (that is, higher peaks and higher troughs in the graph), especially since December 2000 – January 2001. Palestinian fatalities, on the other hand, trended downward from a very high beginning, then picked up somewhat from September 2001 onwards – although they did not approach the levels of the first months of the conflict until March 2002.
Graph 2.5 compares these overall trends in fatalities suffered by the two sides. While it is evident that the overall level of Israeli fatalities has been consistently lower than that of Palestinian fatalities, the gap between the trend-lines lessened over the first few months of the al-Aqsa conflict and then remained roughly steady until September 2001. Since then, the gap between fatalities incurred by the two sides has been fluctuating erratically.
2. Refining the Trends – Responsibility and Combatant Status
So far we have looked only at overall fatality figures, without regard to any difference between one fatality and another. There are several ways in which we can refine our view. One obvious approach is to classify fatalities by which side caused them, rather than by the nationality of the deceased. By counting the people killed by the actions of each side rather than simply those who died on each side, we now classify suicide bombers and people killed while preparing explosives (“work accidents”) as part of their own side’s tally of deaths, rather than as apparent victims of the other side. (Killings of foreign nationals are also included in this classification; almost all of these have been foreigners working in Israel who were killed by Palestinian terrorist attacks.) Graph 2.6 shows the trends in deaths caused by each side, ignoring cases in which responsibility for death was unclear.
While the general appearance of this graph is similar to what we have seen before, it is significant that when we make these adjustments, the figures for fatalities caused by each side were actually quite similar, on average, for all but a few months after January 2001. (Note that, as mentioned above, selecting fatalities by the side “responsible” for them does not imply that the responsible side is at fault; “responsible” in this context refers only to physical rather than moral responsibility.)
Our view can be refined still further (in the sense of selecting those deaths which are “politically significant”) by ignoring the deaths of combatants. This eliminates from consideration those killed who were actively involved in the fighting, and thus legitimate targets for attack: soldiers at their posts, active members of terrorist groups, suicide bombers, and so on. Those remaining – even though many of them, such as stone-throwing protestors, may have knowingly put themselves in harm’s way – are considered “noncombatants”. (Note that for our purposes, “Violent Protestors”, “Probable Combatants”, and “Full Combatants” are treated as combatants; all other classifications, including “Unknowns”, are considered noncombatants.)
Noncombatant status is significant in several ways:
Graph 2.7 shows the trends in noncombatant deaths inflicted by each side on "non-nationals" – i.e. citizens of the opposing side and third-country citizens. This graph shows the same general trends as Graph 2.6, although (as Palestinian combatant fatalities are no longer included) the vertical scale is somewhat lower. Also, this graph shows even more clearly the trend for a rough parity between the two sides after December 2000.
3. Identifying Phases of the Conflict
Graphs 2.5, 2.6, and 2.7 suggest that the al-Aqsa conflict, up to late July 2002, can be divided into four phases:
The first phase of the al-Aqsa conflict began on 27 September 2000, and ended in late December 2000. At that time Palestinian fatalities tapered off sharply, and remained generally lower until the next September. December 21, 2000 has been chosen as the last day of this first phase. As a first approximation, we can label this phase of the conflict the “real or apparent popular uprising” phase (leaving room for uncertainty as to whether this “uprising” was genuinely spontaneous, or was manufactured by Palestinian leaders), as most of the fatalities appear to have occurred as the result of Palestinian mass demonstrations or riots, and the Israeli response to them. (A more detailed breakdown of these fatalities by Incident Type remains to be done.)
The second phase began on 22 December 2000, and lasted until September 2001. It was characterized by rough parity between the two sides when fatalities are measured either by responsibility or by noncombatant status. It also featured a general rising trend in Israeli fatalities, as well as in deaths to both sides caused by Palestinians. A final date of 11 September 2001 has been chosen for this period, because changes in Israeli policy and tactics resulting from that day’s terror attacks on the United States appear to have ushered in the next phase.
The third phase of the al-Aqsa conflict began on 12 September 2001 – again, a date chosen somewhat arbitrarily, as the first day “post 9/11”. This phase began with a significant increase in Palestinian fatalities, in contrast to the preceding period of rough parity between the two sides in noncombatant fatalities suffered and fatalities caused. Over the course of this phase, fatalities on both sides fluctuated dramatically from month to month, with Palestinian and Israeli trends rather closely correlated. The nine months of this phase saw attempts to impose cease-fires, which sometimes resulted in brief periods of relative quiet; visits to the region by foreign “peace envoys”, which often resulted in flare-ups of violence; and Israeli incursions into Palestinian Authority-controlled territory, which caused temporary reductions in successful terrorist attacks but achieved no long-term results.
The fourth phase of the conflict began with Israel's longer-term re-occupation of major Palestinian towns in the West Bank, around 21 June 2002. Two months into this phase, it appears that the Israeli presence in and around Palestinian towns is reducing the level of success in carrying out terror attacks against Israelis, if not the Palestinians' motivation to do so.
Graph 2.8 displays the overall rates of noncombatant deaths inflicted on each side by the other. It is very clear that since the end of Phase 1 of the conflict, Israeli and Palestinian noncombatant death rates have been almost identical.
More work remains to be done in order to match the trends of fatalities with corresponding developments on the political scene. However, one can already point to several significant points: for example, a dip in Israeli fatalities in July 2001 (as a result of international pressure on the Palestinians after the June 2001 Dolphinarium attack); and sharp dips in both Palestinian and Israeli casualties in January 2002. The latter decrease in casualties corresponds to Yasser Arafat’s “cease-fire calls” to his own side on 16 December 2001.
will explore other aspects of the phases of the al-Aqsa
conflict in more detail.
4. Combatants and Noncombatants
As noted above, the classification of victims into combatants and noncombatants is important in evaluating both their tactical and political significance. It is worthwhile to examine this classification in more detail.
Graphs 2.9 shows the
distribution of Palestinian fatalities among Combatant
Note that a
substantial portion – almost 55 per cent – of Palestinian
fatalities are either Full Combatants, Probable Combatants, or Violent
Protestors. Of the remaining fatalities, a substantial slice are
as “Unknown”, meaning that their Combatant Level has not yet been
Ongoing review of existing reports, as well as addition data to be
will, we hope, reduce the number of Unknowns.
Graph 2.10 shows the equivalent distribution for Israeli fatalities. The most obvious feature of this graph is the overwhelming preponderance of noncombatants over combatants. According to our practice of classifying only Full Combatants, Probable Combatants, and Violent Protestors as combatants, about one in five Israeli fatalities have been combatants. Even were we to include such categories as civil police and soldiers aboard civilian buses (i.e. Uniformed Noncombatants) among combatants, some 70 per cent of Israelis killed have been noncombatants.
The apparent reason
for the lopsided distribution of Israeli fatalities
is that Israeli combatants are members of a well-trained and equipped
army – and more specifically, one that goes to unusual lengths to
its casualties. This has two implications: first, that Palestinians
generally prefer to attack civilian targets, or alternatively members
the military who are not on active duty; and second, that most
attacks on Israeli military patrols or outposts are unlikely to cause
Graph 2.11 shows trends in the balance of Palestinian fatalities between combatants and noncombatants, month by month. Note that Phase 1 and the first month of Phase 3 are both characterized by surges in noncombatant deaths, while most other periods show either parity between combatants and noncombatants, or else a preponderance of combatant deaths.
Graph 2.12 shows the trend in Palestinian fatalities caused by Palestinian actions – including suicide bombings, “work accidents”, internecine struggles, and so on.
The strong upward trend in Palestinian fatalities due to Palestinian actions suggests several possible explanations: increased suicide bombings, occasional clashes brought on by efforts by Palestinian Authority security forces to exert its authority over the various Islamist groups, and a general breakdown in law and order in Palestinian areas. The large “spike” in Palestinian noncombatants killed by Palestinians in April 2002 appears to represent the large number of “collaborators” killed in the aftermath to Israel’s “Defensive Shield” operation.
Graph 2.13 is the Israeli equivalent to Graph 2.11, showing Israeli combatant versus noncombatant fatalities.
The preponderance of noncombatant over combatant casualties is immediately obvious. The irregular but generally increasing trend in Israeli noncombatant fatalities is also apparent, along with the gradual increase in Israeli combatant fatalities since the beginning of 2002, leading up to the substantial losses suffered during Operation Protective Shield. (Note also December 2001, which included several major Palestinian terrorist attacks perpetrated during American envoy Anthony Zinni’s visit to the area.) As we saw above, the extremely high number of Israeli noncombatants killed in March 2002 "flattens" the rest of the graph, making the overall increasing trend appear less significant than it otherwise would.
Finally, Graph 2.14 analyzes the relationship between each month's Palestinian combatant and noncombatant fatalities over time. (Compare this to Graph 1.4, which shows the cumulative trend rather than each month's ratio individually.)
The pronounced increase over time in the percentage of combatants among Palestinian fatalities appears to result from a combination of several possible factors:
5. Gender War
The issue of gender has not been widely discussed in relation to the al-Aqsa conflict. Investigation of the sexual composition of fatalities on both sides of the al-Aqsa conflict reveals some striking facts.
Graph 2.15 shows Israeli fatalities month by month, with male victims separated from female victims. While there is an overall preponderance of male Israelis killed (slightly over two thirds of the victims were male), the pattern is not consistent – there were some months when females outnumbered males among the victims – or extreme. As will be seen below in the section dealing with Age Distribution, the “excess” of males is not consistent across ages; fatalities among young people and the elderly are evenly balanced between the sexes.
Graph 2.16, displaying the equivalent data for Palestinians, shows a dramatically different picture. Palestinian fatalities in this conflict have been consistently and overwhelmingly male. In total, Palestinian women account for fewer than five percent of all Palestinians killed.
To eliminate any possible distortion caused by including combatants – almost all of them male, on both sides of the conflict – in our picture, we can generate similar graphs illustrating the proportion of males and females among the noncombatants on each side who were killed by the other side. Graphs 2.17 and 2.18 show that even when we restrict ourselves to the noncombatant victims of the conflict, almost all the Palestinians killed have been male.
Graph 2.19 reveals a related fact that has received scant media attention: If we look only at females killed, Israeli fatalities have far outnumbered Palestinian fatalities. This graph includes only each side's noncombatant females killed by the opposite side; but even if we include Palestinian combatant females and others whose death is not reliably attributable to Israeli actions, the ratio of Israeli females killed to Palestinian females killed is 2.7 to 1. (Using the more stringent criteria of noncombatants killed by the opposite side, the ratio is 3.6 to one.)
6. Age Distributions
Yet another area that has received inadequate attention is the age distribution of victims of the al-Aqsa conflict. Again, analysis of the data yields some surprises.
Graph 2.20 shows the age distribution of Palestinian female noncombatants killed by Israel. Note that this graph displays no strong trend – the distribution of deaths across age categories appears essentially random.
This graph is
included mainly to provide a contrast to those that follow.
Graph 2.21, on the other hand, showing Palestinian noncombatant fatalities of both sexes (which, as we’ve seen before, consist almost entirely of males), displays a highly non-random age distribution.
The median age for Palestinian victims is roughly 23; some 37% of them were under twenty years old, and 72% under thirty. The most striking features of the graph, however, are the dramatically high number of teenage noncombatants killed, and the almost perfect “textbook” skewed distribution.
Graph 2.22 shows the age distribution of Palestinian combatant fatalities. Again, this graph shows a highly non-random distribution – but with significant differences from Graph 2.21. Palestinian combatant deaths are even more concentrated in a small age-range than Palestinian noncombatant deaths are, and combatants on average were somewhat older than noncombatants.
Teenagers are much less prevalent among Palestinian combatant fatalities than among noncombatants; only around 18% of all Palestinian combatants killed were under twenty years old. (This reflects, to a minor degree, the fact that as a matter of principle we have classified essentially all Palestinians under the age of 13 as non-combatants.) The median age for Palestinian combatants is about 24 years. On the other hand, around 80% of the Palestinian combatants killed were under thirty – a slightly higher percentage of under-age-thirty deaths than among Palestinian noncombatants.
The distribution of Palestinian fatalities across age and gender demonstrates a simple but important fact: Palestinians killed in the al-Aqsa conflict have been overwhelmingly male, and for the most part teenaged or in their twenties. (Note, though, that the number of children killed under the age of ten is very low – under five percent of noncombatants.) This is highly significant, as it is very different from the results one would expect from random Israeli fire into inhabited neighborhoods, or other forms of indiscriminate killing of which Israel has been accused.
These graphs suggest that even the noncombatants among the Palestinians killed in this conflict were not, for the most part, passive victims of Israeli aggression. It appears that there was a strong element of self-selection among those who would eventually be killed – in short, teenagers and young men decided, or were encouraged, to confront Israeli forces and, all too often, “achieve martyrdom”. In this context, it is unsurprising that this element of self-selection – showing up as a more “focused” distribution – is even stronger for Palestinian combatants.
Graph 2.23 and 2.24 provide separate age breakdowns for males and females, for Israeli noncombatants killed by Palestinians, and Palestinian noncombatants killed by Israel. The Israeli fatalities, both male and female, display patterns consistent with a population subject to terror attack – an essentially random distribution, with a slight prevalence of males among ages when adults are more likely to be “out and about”. (It is interesting to note that female deaths are roughly equal to male deaths for ages below 20 and above 59; the lower number of female deaths between the ages of 20 and 59 presumably reflects more time spent indoors.)
The Palestinian pattern is very different. Palestinian female noncombatants (as more easily seen in Graph 2.20, above) show a fairly random age distribution; but Palestinian male noncombatants display an age distribution completely unlike that of any of the other noncombatant groups. It is apparent from these graphs that the Israeli killing of Palestinian noncombatant males is a very different phenomenon from the killing of other noncombatants in this conflict.
Graph 2.25 shows another interesting aspect of the age distribution of Palestinian fatalities. Here noncombatant Palestinians killed by Israel have been divided up according to the al-Aqsa conflict phases described above.
In order to make accurate comparisons among phases of different lengths, the data has been “normalized” into deaths per 30-day month. When the data is graphed in this way, several things become apparent:
Graphs 2.26A and 2.26B show total Israeli noncombatant fatalities for each phase of the al-Aqsa conflict. (Two separate graphs are shown here for readability; combining them as was done to create Graph 2.24 resulted in a graph that was colorful but extremely difficult to interpret.)
Four facts are immediately apparent:
One frequently-used measure of the extent to which noncombatant fatalities represent “genuinely innocent victims” is the proportion of young males among them. A very high proportion of young males is taken to indicate that many of the fatalities likely resulted from confrontations that the victims could have avoided. Graph 2.27 shows that for the first three phases of the conflict, the proportion of Palestinian noncombatants killed by Israel who fit into this category was significantly higher than the proportion among Israelis – especially so during Phase 1, when 85% of the Palestinian noncombatants killed by Israel were males aged between 12 and 29. Since the beginning of the conflict, 63% of all Palestinian noncombatants killed by Israeli forces have been in this category; this compares with 26% of all Israeli noncombatants killed by Palestinians.
As noted above, Phase 4 appears to be less “intifada-like” than any previous phase of the conflict.
Graph 2.28 displays all Israeli fatalities by age, with combatants separated from noncombatants.
In addition to showing once more that the vast majority of Israelis killed have been noncombatants, this graph contrasts the very orderly distribution of Israeli combatant deaths – expected for a uniformed army with reserve service generally continuing until the mid-40’s – with a much broader distribution of noncombatant fatalities. (Note that the small number of Israeli combatants appearing in the “15-19 Years” category represents young conscripts, normally recruited at the age of 18. In fact, no Israeli 18-year-old combatants have been killed in the conflict so far; the youngest killed have been 19 years old.)
Graph 2.29, the equivalent graph for Palestinian fatalities, shows a completely different picture. Palestinian combatant fatalities, like those on the Israeli side, are concentrated in a narrow age range – although this concentration is slightly less pronounced. (This is unsurprising, given that Palestinian combatants are mostly members of unofficial terrorist/guerilla organizations.) Palestinian noncombatant fatalities, however, show an age distribution completely unlike that on the Israeli side. Instead of a “sloppy” distribution over a broad range of ages, Palestinian noncombatant fatalities are heavily concentrated among teenagers and young adults.
Graph 2.30 focuses specifically on noncombatants on both sides in their aged 45 and older.
While overall Palestinian deaths outnumber Israeli deaths by almost three to one, Israeli “mature noncombatant” deaths are more than double the equivalent Palestinian fatalities. (If we omit Palestinian noncombatants, such as “collaborators”, killed by Palestinians, the ratio is 2.7 to1.)
Graph 2.31 shows a detailed breakdown of Israeli and Palestinian young noncombatants killed by the opposite side, by age and gender. These fatalities display a rather strange pattern. Among both Palestinians and Israelis, the number of young children (under the age of 10-11 years old) is comparatively small (although more young Israeli children were killed as a proportion of total fatalities). The number of Palestinian children killed begins to increase at about 10 years of age, and jumps up dramatically between the ages of 12 and 13. However, the increase consists entirely of boys – the number of Palestinian girls killed shows no age-trend, and is very low for all ages.
killed by Palestinians show a different profile: Both
boys and girls show an increase starting at age 14 (perhaps a year
for boys), and just as many teenaged girls were killed as teenaged
What is significant in all these comparisons is, again, the contrast between the randomness of the pattern of Israeli fatalities and the more non-random distribution of Palestinian deaths. The random distribution is typical of terrorist attacks, which, though sometimes carried out in places frequented by young people, e.g. the Dolphinarium disco attack, may equally target restaurants or buses which are used by a wide spectrum of the population. Some of the most frequent targets of Palestinian terror attacks, such as open-air markets and public buses, are used disproportionately by the most vulnerable segments of society: women, the elderly, and the poor.
The fact that Palestinian deaths caused by Israeli actions do not, as a rule, follow the same pattern would seem to undermine claims that Israel deliberately targets Palestinian civilians.
NEW! We now also offer an up-to-date Israeli/Palestinian Conflict Statistics page with the latest totals from our database, as well as a full database query function for viewing "Intifada" incidents and casualty data. You can access all these features through ICT's Arab-Israeli Conflict Page.
Published: June 24,
Updated: September 29, 2002
Source: International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism
This page was produced by Joseph E. Katz
Middle Eastern Political and Religious History Analyst
Brooklyn, New York
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