Casualty Comparison

November 18, 2012 IMEU



The First Intifada (1987-1993)

  • During the First Intifada, or uprising, against Israeli occupation, Israeli soldiers use brutal force to repress the mostly unarmed popular rebellion. Then-Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin implements the infamous "broken bones" policy, ordering security forces to break the limbs of rock throwing Palestinians and other demonstrators.
  • More than 1000 Palestinians are killed by Israeli forces, including 237 children under the age of 17. Many tens of thousands more are injured.
  • According to an estimate by the Swedish branch of Save the Children, as many as 29,900 children require medical treatment for injuries caused by beatings from Israeli soldiers during the first two years of the Intifada alone. Nearly a third of them are aged ten or under. Save the Children also estimates that between 6500-8500 Palestinian minors are wounded by Israeli gunfire in the first two years of the Intifada.
  • From the start of the First Intifada in December 1987 to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, approximately 150 Israelis are killed by Palestinians, including about 100 civilians.


The Oslo Era (1993-2000)

  • In 1993, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) sign the first of a series of agreements known as the Oslo Accords. Oslo creates the Palestinian Authority and is supposed to lead to a final peace agreement within five years.
  • Following the massacre of 29 Palestinians in Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque by Israeli-American settler Baruch Goldstein in February 1994, Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups begin targeting Israeli civilians with a series of suicide bombings.
  • During the seven years of negotiations under Oslo, more than 300 Palestinians are killed by Israeli security forces, including more than 40 minors under the age of 17.
  • During the same period, about 250 Israelis are killed by Palestinians, including about 170 civilians.


The Second Intifada (2000-2005)

  • In October 2000, Palestinian frustration at seven years of fruitless negotiations, during which time Israel further entrenches its occupation and nearly doubles the number of Jewish settlers living illegally in the occupied territories boils over into a second uprising, sparked by a provocative visit by Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the Noble Sanctuary mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem. Sharon is reviled by Palestinians for his brutal record as an officer in the Israeli military and as defense minister, and the numerous massacres of Palestinian civilians he is responsible for, most notably the Sabra and Shatila massacre in 1982.
  • In the first days, scores of unarmed Palestinians are killed and wounded by Israeli security forces, who use "excessive force," according to a subsequent report by Amnesty International, to quell demonstrations, setting off a chain of events that will mark the Second Intifada as far more violent than the first. In response, Palestinian militant groups launch a campaign of attacks, including suicide bombings, against Israeli military and civilian targets. Over the next five years, the Israeli army attempts to crush Palestinian resistance using brute force, including several major military operations such as Operation Defensive Shield, killing thousands of Palestinians and wounding thousands more.
  • According to Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, between October 2000 and the start of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008, 4878 Palestinians are killed by Israeli security forces, including 952 minors under the age of 17.
  • During the same time period, some 1063 Israelis are killed by Palestinians, including 731 civilians.


Operatoin Summer Rains (2006)

  • In June 2006, following an ambush by Palestinian fighters from Gaza who kill two soldiers and capture a third, Israel launches a series of military assaults on Gaza, beginning with Operation Summer Rains.
  • During a visit to Gaza in July to assess the damage, the UN's top humanitarian official, Jan Egeland, condemns the widespread destruction caused by Israel, stating: "This is very clear, a disproportionate use [of power]... Civilian infrastructure is protected. The law is very clear. You cannot have any interpretation in any other way."
  • By the end of November, some 416 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 58 children, and approximately 1000 injured. The Israeli army also systematically targets civilian infrastructure like roads, bridges, and Gaza's only power plant.
  • During the same period, five Israeli soldiers are killed, one of them in a "friendly fire" incident, as well as six civilians.


Operation Cast Lead (DEC 2008 - JAN 2009)

  • On December 27, two months after violating a six-month long ceasefire and setting off a resumption of rocket fire from Gaza, Israel launches Operation Cast Lead, a bloody assault unprecedented in the history of the conflict in its scope and ferocity. In just 22 days, the Israeli army kills approximately 1400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, wounds another 5000, and lays waste to thousands of homes and much of Gaza's civilian infrastructure.
  • A week into the attack, the European Union issues a statement condemning "the recent disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Defense Forces against (the) Palestinian population in Gaza and [urging] Israel to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from all activities that endanger civilians," adding: "Such activities are contrary to international law."
  • As occurred during Operation Summer Rains two-and-a-half years earlier, Israel once again systematically targets civilian infrastructure, including attacks against eight hospitals and 26 medical clinics. According to B'Tselem:
    'Israel also caused enormous damage to residential dwellings, industrial buildings, agriculture, and infrastructure for electricity, sanitation, water, and health, which was already on the verge of collapse prior to the operation. According to UN figures, Israel destroyed more than 3500 residential dwellings and 20,000 people were left homeless.'
  • According to the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Israeli forces kill 1419 Palestinians, including 1167 civilians, and wound more than 5000 others during Cast Lead. B'Tselem documents some 1397 Palestinians killed, including some 759 who were not taking part in hostilities. Of those 759, 318 are minors under the age of 18.
  • During the same period, 13 Israelis are killed, including three civilians and ten soldiers, four of whom are killed accidentally by "friendly fire."


Post-Cast Lead (JAN 2009 - NOV 2012)

  • According to B'Tselem, from the end of Operation Cast Lead in January 2009 until September 30, 2012, 314 Palestinians are killed by Israeli forces, including 38 minors.
  • During the same period, 20 Israelis are killed by Palestinians, 15 of them civilians.

Read the IMEU's Fact Sheet on The Dahiya Doctrine and Israel's Use of Disproportionate Force here.