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Myth:

Israel deliberately targets civilians in Gaza and is committing “genocide”

Source:

Israel Defense and Security Forum’s Research Department

Fact:

  • These figures originate in Hamas’ so-called “Ministry of Health.” and are therefore by definition, problematic.  Despite being widely quoted by the UN and other prominent actors, this figure remains highly questionable. It has been debunked multiple times as inconsistent and focuses on the consensus population “women and children” though never providing data on killed militants.


  • According to the IDF, over 13,000 terrorists have been killed in Gaza, including 18 of 24 battalion structures.


  • The fighting likely inflicted civilian casualties, but there is no reliable data on that front.


  • Traditionally, Israel does its utmost to avoid civilian casualties for both moral and strategic reasons, as doing so allows Israel the legitimacy needed to continue the war effort. The IDF distributed pamphlets, sent SMS messages, and carried out phone calls advising civilians to flee from areas to be targeted by the IDF. Over 1.5 million Palestinian civilians successfully evacuated from war zones. The accusation by Hamas and Iran, that Israel is wantonly targeting civilians is designed to delegitimize Israel’s right to self-defense by “cooking the books.”


  • It is worth noting that while Hamas spearheaded the October 7 attack, numerous civilians participated in the horrors, invading Israel, murdering, raping, torturing, and looting. Multiple videos and significant evidence prove that. Furthermore, opinion polls also show that 82% of Gazans support the October 7 massacre, while support for Hamas increased ever since.


  • This claim is inconsistent with the IDF’s focus on Hamas-controlled urban warfare – had Israel been interested in carrying out “genocide” against Palestinians, its military superiority would have enabled it to theoretically target mass concentration of civilians in designated evacuation zones, but needless to say, no such thing ever happened.

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