Mideast death, by the numbers

SUN JOURNAL

April 03, 2002

Every day, there is violence in the Middle East, and every day the violence seems to escalate.

Almost every attack or counter-attack is deadlier than the last, each one adding to both the sense of inevitability and the shock.

The count of the dead in the fighting between Israelis and Palestinians keeps rising, and the figures begin to lose their power, until you stop and add them up again.

Following are those numbers, as compiled by B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, on its Web site, www.btselem.org

Fatalities in the Intifada, Sept. 29, 2000 -- March 30, 2002

823 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli security forces' gunfire in the Occupied Territories, of whom 192 were minors under the age of 18.

Ages of the minors killed: 41 minors were age 17, 33 were age 16, 37 were age 15, 29 were age 14, 18 were age 13, eight were age 12, seven were age 11, six were age 10, three were age 9, four were age 8, two were age 7, one was age 6, one was age 4, one was age 3, and one was a 4-month-old baby girl.

At least 58 of the civilians killed were extrajudicially executed by Israel. In the course of these assassinations, 14 additional civilians were killed.

113 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians, 13 of them were minors under the age of 17: Two were age 17, three were age 16, four were age 14, one was age 13, one was age 11, one was a 10-month-old baby girl and one was a 5-month-old baby boy. At least six of them were allegedly killed by individuals affiliated with the Palestinian National Authority.

69 members of the Israeli security forces were killed by Palestinian civilians.

Eight members of the Israeli security forces were killed by Palestinian security forces' gunfire.

222 Palestinian security forces personnel were killed by Israeli security forces' gunfire, including one minor, age 17. One of them was extrajudicially executed by Israel and three were killed during assassinations of Palestinian civilians.

15 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli civilians, including one 2-month-old baby girl.

Five foreign citizens were killed by Israeli security forces' gunfire.

Five foreign citizens were killed by Palestinian civilians.

At least 23 Palestinian civilians were killed by Palestinians due to suspicion of collaborating with Israel. Some of them had Israeli citizenship. Two of them were executed by the Palestinian Authority. Four were killed by Palestinian security forces.

Three Palestinian civilians were killed by Palestinian civilians after being convicted in the murder of a Palestinian security officer who had killed Palestinians suspected of collaboration with Israel.

One 12-year-old boy was killed by armed Palestinians during a confrontation with Palestinian civilians who were trying to prevent them from shooting at IDF posts.

Eleven Palestinian civilians, three of them minors, were killed by Palestinian security forces in circumstances unrelated to suspicion of collaborating with Israel.

Within Israel

140 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians, residents of the Occupied Territories; 35 of them were minors under the age of 18. Of them: four were age 17, six were age 16, nine were age 15, five were age 14, one was age 13, one was age 12, one was age 10, one was age 8, one was age 7, one was age 4, one was age 3, one was a 2-year-old, one was an 18-month-old, one was a 9-month-old baby, and one was a 7-month-old baby. Ten of the Israeli civilians were killed by members of the Palestinian security forces.

21 Palestinian civilians, residents of the Occupied Territories, were killed by Israeli security forces' gunfire. One of those killed was a minor, age 14.

Six members of the Palestinian security forces were killed by Israeli security forces' gunfire.

Seven foreign citizens were killed by Palestinian civilians. One of them was a minor, age 16.

32 members of the Israeli security forces were killed by Palestinian civilians, residents of the Occupied Territories. One of them was killed by a member of the Palestinian security forces.

The figures do not include 23 Palestinians who were on their way to obtain medical treatment and died after being delayed because of the restrictions on movement.

Following are some comments on the most recent phase of the fighting from various sources in the Middle East:

From an op-ed article by Yoel Marcus in Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper:

As the terrorist attacks come fast and furious, there is no doubt that many Israelis are in raptures over the sights and sounds emanating from the Arafat compound: [Yasser] Arafat eating tinned meat loaf from IDF army rations, Arafat sitting in candlelight, Arafat talking sparingly on his cell phone because there's no electricity to charge the batteries due to "some malfunction" at the East Jerusalem Electric Company. ...

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