Don't trust Hamas on civilian deaths [Letter]

A credible news outlet requires credible sources. Yet you report without question that of the dead in Gaza, "most are civilians" ("Israel denies role in Gaza hospital blast that killed 7 children," July 28).

The only primary source for this information is the Gaza Health Ministry. Although you have sometimes cited this source, you omit that the ministry is run by Hamas. You have cited the UN as a source, but the UN obtains its figures from Hamas, not by its own independent investigation. Allowing Hamas to present this information unchallenged and not identifying Hamas as the source of the information is an abdication of your journalistic responsibilities.

An analysis of the casualty figures reveals that 80 percent were men of fighting age (16-50) even though half the population of Gaza are women and half of the population is under 14. And if you really want to give a complete picture of the true civilian casualties in Gaza, you could reference the 2012 report from the Institute for Palestine Studies which found that Hamas used child labor to construct its terror tunnels, resulting in the death of at least 160 children.

Darren Margolis

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