Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Deaths in Palestine and Syria compared.

Wikipedia quotes a UN estimate of 80,000 for the deaths in the current conflict in Syria.
A further 10,000 - 40,000 were killed in an uprising in Hama in 1982.

There are, I think, no reliable figures for deaths in the Lebanese civil war in the 70's and 80's, but Wikipedia has an estmate of 150,000.

About the same number of people have died in the current Syrian civil war as in all the Arab-Israeli wars put together. If you just take Palestinians killed by the Israelis, then far more Syrians have been killed then all the Paelstinians ever killed by Israelis.

So how many Palestinians have died?  There are a number of figures to take into account here, first Palestinians killed by peoples other than the Israelis: Thats mainly the British, the Jordanians and the Lebanese. Second, Palestinians killed by other Palestinians and finally those killed by Israelis. For purposes of convenience I am not making a combatant-civillian distinction because when you deal with non-regular forces and civil wars, its impossible to make that distinction.

Using figures quoted in Wikipedia I took rounded estimates and totalled the higher estimates to give totals.

killed by
killed by
killed by
killed by
killed by Palestinians
3,500 – 20,000
6,000 – 10,000
(including Sabra and Shaltila)
1,000 (pre-1948)
4,000 – 5,000

3,000 – 4,000 (1948)

3,000 – 6,000 (1949 – 1975)

4,000 (invasions of Lebanon)

10,000 (intifadas and Gaza invasions)
700 colaborators + 600 Hamas vs Fatah

In all about 25,000 Palestinians are thought to have been killed  by the Israelis since the Thirties' and 65,000 to have died in various conflicts. Much less then the dead in Syria or the Lebanese civil war.  The total Arab dead in wars with Israel since the twenties, including non-Palestinians, are estimated at about 90,000. See

By way of contrast, if we take the Second World war as having been 2,000 days in duration (from September 1939 to May 1945), then every day of the war 3,000 Jews were killed, for six years. So the total number of Paelstinians killed by the Israelis, although reprehensibly high, is equivalent to just over a week of the Holocaust.  In fact of course, the Nazis began exterminating Jews in 1941, which makes it close to 4,000 Jews a day for four years and less then a weeks work.

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