Nov 19, 2012

Imbalance of Power: Understanding Weapons and Casualties in Gaza and Israel

Putting things into perspective, view this new infographic detailing the disparities in weapons arsenals of Palestinian groups in Gaza and Israel. Besides the massive killing powers of the Israeli weapons shown here, what are not displayed are the numerous naval battleships and Merkava tanks owned and operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Israel has submarines, missile boats, corvettes (the largest warships in Israel’s naval fleet), patrol boats, and numerous chasers and landing ships. Each Merkava tank is armed with two 7.62 machine guns and a 60 mm mortar that can be loaded and fired internally, in addition to the main gun, and has gone through developments to ensure accuracy and lethality.

Gaza, Isreal Weaponry Comparison
[Click on the image to enlarge]

From January through September 2012, Israeli weaponry caused 55 Palestinian deaths and 257 injuries. Among these 312 casualties, 61, or roughly 20 percent, were children and 28 were female. 209 of these casualties came as a result of Israeli Air Force missiles, 69 from live ammunition fire, and 18 from tank shells.

In 2011, the projectiles fired by the Israeli military into Gaza were responsible for the death of 108 Palestinians, of which 15 where women or children, and the injury of 468 Palestinians, of which 143 where women or children. The methods by which these causalities were inflicted by Israeli projectiles breaks down as follows: 57 percent, or 310, were caused by Israeli aircraft missile fire; 28 percent, or 150, where from Israeli live ammunition; 11 percent, or 59, were from Israeli tank shells; while another 3 percent, or 18, were from Israeli mortar fire.

As this infographic shows, there is no room for a discussion on the “equal sides of the conflict,” when the reality is a first-world country, with all the trappings of a modern highly sophisticated weapons arsenal, launching devastating and brutal attacks against the most densely populated area in the world, where half its population is youth and 40 percent of its population lives below the poverty line.

And where does this military might come from? Israel’s military arsenal is not due to the tax pressure on its citizens, but is largely funded by the United States. American citizens actually pay more money individually and overall to the Israeli military structure than Israeli citizens do. For more information on U.S. Military Aid to Israel, please see this video and transcript from a presentation led by Mr. Josh Ruebner, and this written report on its policy implications and options. Even Israel's classic "David v. Goliath" storyline pales when shown the actual size of their slingshot.

10 comments: on "Imbalance of Power: Understanding Weapons and Casualties in Gaza and Israel"

Fred Markus said...

Does this remind anyone of the Nazi bombardment of the Waraw Ghetto?
How well the descendants of the opressed has come to emulate the harsh practices of their historical oppressors. Even to the creeping reality of Lebensraum executed by civilians and then reinforced by military fictat.

papicek said...

RE US support of the Israel Defense Force, I can help flesh that out a bit. A CRS report indicates that, apart from all other aid sent to Israel from the United States, the IDF budget is 18-22% funded by American taxpayers, and has grown steadinly by about $0.15 billion dollars annually:


Of course, money is fungible, and other forms of aid sent to Israel relieve budgetary pressures which might make Israel consider arms cuts. However, US intent in this is made clear in Title 2 of the US Naval Vessels Transfer Authority Act of 2008, which seeks to guarantee that Israel maintain a "Qualitative Military Edge over military threats"

PL 110-429:

With no credible military threat to Israel from any other organized armed force, the modern IDF is free to concentrate on an area many times smaller than metropolitan New York City which has no organized armed force, and this is what we are all witnessing today.

Paul J said...

@ papicek: "no credible military threat to Israel from any other organized armed force." Ever heard of Hezbollah?

madams12 said...

Ask yourself why/how did Hezbullah arise? they were the children who survived the BRUTAL Israeli aeriel bombardments of Lebanon...they rose from the ashes...of approxmiately 20,000 murdered by experimental/illegal bombs..from Israel. thousands of innocents died then....that came after Sabra Chatilla.....what would YOU do were your homeland crushed by your rapacious and belligerent "neighbor"? Considering the suffering, I'd say Hezbullah has been strategically wise, deliberate and sane..despite the continuous bellicose threats and incursions into Lebanon by air or ground. They have the enemy they forced into existence.

Sarah Weatherbee said...

Great infographic. This is exactly the kind of data presentation that many are looking for.

veronius said...

Interesting comments. Re: the comparison of Israel's assault to the Nazi destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto - while I'm inclined to agree, this is the kind of comparison that I, as a non-Jew (no doubt in the company of many other goyim), am simply too timid to make myself.

Anyway I have a question. I read somewhere that the term "Nazi" is used frequently in the Knesset as an insult to political opponents. Does anyone on here know if that's true?

Actually, a couple more questions, if I may. While the disparity in the means of destruction is glaring enough, how does one respond to the claim that the inability of Hamas to do serious damage does not make its attempts to do so any better, morally, than Israel's own attacks?

Also, one often hears that Hamas "hides behind civilians" by placing its offices and installations in populated areas. Now I realize they have no where else to put them, since from what I hear Gaza is a bit short on boundless forests and rolling plains. And in any country, the government naturally tends to go where the people are. The Pentagon is in Washington, after all! Anyway, "they're hiding behind civilians!" is a regularly heard refrain whenever a great power is sticking it to a smaller one. But my question is: is the IDF HQ not situated in a populated area in Tel Aviv?

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Free Gaza from Hamas said...

The difference is that the oppressors of the Palestinian people are not the Israeli but the Hamas that made a business out of a war that is creating senseless death on both sides. While the Hamas leaders are living in wealth in London and other places they are exploiting their population. Instead of building schools and boosting the economy they are building tunnels that kills their own children. Here is what a Palestinian thinks himself. Don't get lead on by the misinformation campaign here. You are financing and supporting Hamas here and the suffering of the Palestinian civil population. "Free Gaza from Hamas"