Friday, September 20, 2002

The IDF is "isolating" Arafat. Haven't we been in this movie before?

Erekat lies; Reuters doesn't care Reuters is carrying Saeb Erekat's line that ""Six weeks have passed without any suicide attacks but during that same period Israeli troops killed 71 Palestinians" (on the BBC he said "71 Palestinian civilians").

From Aug 6 (after the Hebrew U bombing - which was not a suicide attack) up to Aug 31, B'tselem lists a total of 34 Palestinian casualties (including many killed in "exchanges of fire" etc.). For September, this Arabic site seems to list 20 casualties total - for a total of 54.

Of the B'tselem August list, 22 are described in a manner that is "civilian-like". I can't read the September list to determine which of the "martyrs" are civilians, but it's clear that there were fewer than 42 Palestinian civilian casualties for the entire six week period - perhaps as few as 28.

This count comes at a time when the IDF has been imposing curfews and conducting extensive operations in the Palestinian areas - and Israelis have been distraught over failed IDF operations to the extent that a probe was launched (not that Israel's detractors were impressed).

All civilian casualties are tragedies, but the BBC and Reuters must not allow Erekat and other Palestinian spokesmen to lie baldfacedly.

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