According to a 2012 blog article at Mondoweiss, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were exaggerating the numbers of deaths from Hamas rockets: (abbreviated)

Number of rocket/mortar fatalities by year, 2006–2011

            IDF claim   Established
    2006    9           4
    2007    10          2
    2008    15          8
    2009    2           0
    2010    5           1
    2011    3           2

For 2006, it is unknown how the IDF transformed four rocket fatalities into nine.

For 2007, it is unknown how the IDF transformed two fatalities into ten.

For 2008, it is unknown how the IDF transformed eight fatalities into fifteen.

For 2009, there were no deaths in Israel from Gaza rockets or mortars. The only way to claim two fatalities would be to include the deaths of two soldiers engaged in a military invasion inside the Gaza Strip, which would be misleading for the message being conveyed by the infographic.

For 2010, it is unknown how the IDF transformed one fatality into five.

Thus, for 2011, the IDF number is correct if we include an anti-tank missile strike on April 7.


In the infographic, all of the IDF’s fatality numbers are exaggerated, with the exception of the fatality number for 2011.

So whose numbers are accurate (if any)?


1 Answer 1


Going based on the list of deaths from this source, which provided many of the numbers used in the OP's linked article, it looks like it might be definitional difference, but I can't explain all the numbers.

The numbers provided by the IDF are much closer to deaths by gunfire, rockets, explosives and other weaponry, while the "Established" numbers match to just rocket attacks.

enter image description here

Note that "Other" deaths are violent too, but not included in my definition.

You can see that using this definition, the IDF numbers for 2006, 2008, and 2011 are actually accurate. 2010 also matches if you include the 5 deaths by gunfire near Hebron (incident 1 incident 2). Thus claiming that it's just rocket fire is inaccurate.

Also note that this analysis does not cross reference other sources. I don't know how accurate the B'Tselem information is, nor have I checked the IDF's offical numbers myself.

  • 1
    In this answer you have a) Referenced btselem.org/statistics which is the same as one of the references listed in the OP's mondoweiss.net/2012/11/… b) Posted a picture of a spreadsheet without a link to where that spreadsheet comes from c) Stated that they might be measuring different things d) Stated that IDF numbers might be higher because they're measuring more causes of death.
    – ChrisW
    Aug 18, 2014 at 17:45
  • 2
    @ChrisW - I don't understand your issues. I explicitly used a different method of counting the data from the same source to produce numbers which were closer to the IDF numbers, which implies that it's simply a methodological difference in numbers, not ex nihilo inflation. The spreadsheet is my own creation. I can link to it if you really want, but it's exactly as shown.
    – Bobson
    Aug 18, 2014 at 17:49
  • My issue was that I didn't understand the answer. Are you saying that a) You don't know exactly where the "IDF claimed 9 in 2006", as alleged in the OP, came from b) If you add other causes (apart from rockets) then the numbers in the IDF claim are larger, but still not equal to the numbers in the OP?
    – ChrisW
    Aug 18, 2014 at 17:56
  • @ChrisW - I understand now. I'm saying C) If you add other causes (apart from rockets) then the numbers in the IDF claim are more accurate than originally represented. 3/6 (or 4/6) correct instead of 1/6.
    – Bobson
    Aug 18, 2014 at 18:08

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