Hamas' casualty figures can't be trusted [Letter]

Your recent report on the conflict in Gaza alternately misstates the facts, omits them or misrepresents them ("Israel continues Gaza strikes," Aug. 3).

Your statement that the fighting broke out on July 8 with Israeli airstrikes would lead the uninformed reader to believe that Israel started this war, when in fact the Israeli action was a delayed response to increasing rocket fire from Gaza that began weeks earlier.

You printed a photograph lamenting the loss of the Omari mosque without noting that Hamas has habitually used schools, mosques, hospitals and even cemeteries as bases from which to launch rocket attacks.

Most egregiously, you continue to print Gaza civilian casualty numbers as absolute facts without citing the source of your information. All civilian casualty figures are provided by the Gaza Health Ministry, which is run by Hamas.

Even when these figures are reported by the UN, the source of the information is always Hamas. Hamas would have the world believe that the casualties are overwhelmingly among civilian women and children even though the facts suggest otherwise.

Other outlets that have bothered to analyze the casualty figures have noted that approximately 75 percent of the dead are fighting-age males even though nearly half the population is under the age of 14 and half of the population is female.

Darren Margolis, Cockeysville

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