I was active in Jenin. I and the PA hospital administrator estimated 60 dead. The actual number turned out to be 58. This was at the time that the Palestinian Authority was estimating more than 600 dead, talking about mass burials, etc. THE WORLD PRESS AND THE “HUMAN RIGHTS NGO’s ECHOED THESE CLAIMS; AND THE UN AND THE US STATE DEPARTMENT CONDEMED ISRAEL.
What Israel can do is to immediately take several of the names of the dead (only a small sample is needed) and determine whether they were fighters or whether they served as voluntary human shields or whether they were “innocents” who happened to be in the vicinity. Adults and children who remain in a facility after warning are not “innocent civilians”. They are, if adults, voluntary human shields. They are, if children, involuntary human shields. This can easily be ascertained.
The Israeli covernment response in your article was the same as I received during Lebanon 2 when I asked why the IDF did not release its aerial photography showing rocket launches from areas where there were later civilian casualties. Here too, Israel stupidly and unnecessarily lost the PR war.
Another example was with Al Dura. At that time the IDF had in operation Hughes aircraft manufactured sonar sensors for counter battery fire. They showed that at that time no fire was coming from Israeli locations. However, a local commander took upon himself to take blame to the IDF and to apologize. We all know now that it was a hoax but it was successful as a PR black eye for Israel.
Word like Netanyahu’s fall on deaf ears : “They( the IDF) are making every effort to avoid hitting civilians, and if civilians are hit, it is only because Hamas purposely hides behind Palestinian civilians,”
To be much more effective, Israel should immediately publicly introduce and broadcast a new and more accurate accounting vocabulary when dealing with reported Palestinian causalities:
** NOT militants….BUT Hamas Terrorists
** NOT civilians …..BUT Terror Support Volunteers ( those that volunteer as human shields: those that disregard alerts to evacuate, etc,) AND Involuntary Human shields ( those under 12 who were not evacuated after an alert: those that are present at an Hamas launch,storage or operations site; etc)
*” CIVILIANS “SHOULD BE USED ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAPPEN TO BE INNOCENTLY CLOSE BY.
MEDIA SHOULD BE BOMBARDED WITH CORRECTIONS IF THEY DO NOT INCLUDE THIS ACCOUNTING IN THEIR REPORTS.