First published: 14 August 2006
The casualty figures for the fighting up to the ceasefire in Lebanon confirm once more that the real, that is the most strongly, terrorist state in the Middle East is Israel. In its entire struggle with the Palestinians, of course, Israel always kills a hugely greater number of civilians than it suffers casualties itself. In the fighting up to the Sunday evening before the ceasefire, Israel stated it suffered 167 killed, of which 114 were military personnel and 53 were civilians – that is, 68 per cent of Israeli deaths were military and 32 per cent were civilian (CNN, ‘Israel-Hezbollah cease-fire in effect’).
Figures for Lebanese casualties were more difficult to obtain, but according to the Guardian 1071 were killed during the 33 days of war, of whom the great majority were civilians. Given the obvious military ineffectiveness of Israeli operations on its border, combined with the huge bombing attacks far into Lebanon and on urban civilian areas, this is entirely likely to be true.
These casualty ratios reveal the real struggle very clearly. Hezbollah’s struggle was mainly military on the border. Israel’s attacks were widespread attacks on civilians in Lebanon. The leaflets dropped by Israel on Beirut, as reported by CNN, as the ceasefire came into effect, openly proclaimed a terrorist message: “Can you pay this price again? Know that the Israel Defense Forces will return and will act with all necessary might against any terrorist act coming from Lebanon that touches Israel” (CNN, ‘Israel-Hezbollah cease-fire in effect’).