Day-by-Day Casualties, Israeli Sorties, and Palestinian Missiles Fired (chart)
Full text: 

The data below were compiled by Michele K. Esposito and are based on a survey of available sources. Sources for each day are listed in the Chronology section in this issue of JPS and in the notes below, which explain in detail how the figures were derived.

 

Abbreviations for the table are as follows: a/s = air strike; d/w = dead/wounded; ith = individual targets hit; nr = not reported.

 

 

Palestinian toll

[1]

Israeli toll

Other toll

Israeli

attacks

[2]

Palestinian

attacks

[3]

Date

Today

d/w

Cumulative

d/w

Internally displaced

Today

d/w

Cumulative

d/w

Today

d/w

Cumulative

d/w

a/s–ith

Rockets/

mortars

12/27

228/700

228/ 700

 

1/ 4

[4]

1/ 4

 

 

170/150

59/19

12/28

72/600

300/1,300

 

0/ 6

[5]

1/10

1/6

[6]

1/6

100+/100

17/18

12/29

64/200

364/1,500

 

4/10

[7]

5/20

 

 

100+/100

66/14

12/30

6/nr

370/ nr

 

0/several

[8]

5/20+

 

 

70/110

41/10

12/31

23/400

393/1,900

 

0/several

[9]

5/20+

 

 

60+/66

49/15

1/1

nr/nr

nr/nr

 

0/several

[10]

5/20+

[11]

 

 

40/70

59

[12]

/1

1/2

38/300

431/2,200

 

0/2

[13]

5/22+

 

 

65/65

[14]

26/5

Ground operations begin evening of 1/3

1/3

29/nr

460/2,200+

 

0/2

[15]

5/24+

 

 

nr

[16]

28/7

1/4

47/200

507/2,400

 

1/16

[17]

6/40+

 

 

40/45

29

[18]

/5

1/5

43/100

550/2,500

 

4/32

[19]

10/72+

 

 

40/nr

28/5

1/6

90/400

640/2,900

15,000

[20]

1/10

[21]

11/82+

 

 

nr/40

30/5

1/7

42/185

682/3,085

 

0/2

11/84+

 

 

40/nr

17

[22]

/5

1/8

76/15

758/3,100

20,000

[23]

3/18

[24]

14/102+

2/0

[25]

3/6

60/nr

15/1

1/9

37/200

795/3,300

 

0/0

14/102+

 

 

110/nr

30

[26]

/1

1/10

 

820–840/nr

[27]

 

0/7

[28]

14/109+

 

 

nr/120

9

[29]

/10

1/11

 

876–900/3,600

86,000

[30]

0/0

14/109+

0/7

[31]

3/13

40/70

20

[32]

/8

1/12

 

900+/nr

90,000

[33]

0/8

[34]

14/117+

 

 

120/nr

17/7

1/13

105/1,100

[35]

971/4,400

 

0/10

[36]

14/127+

 

 

160/nr

11/6

1/14

48/300

1,019/4,700

 

0/27

[37]

14/154+

[38]

 

 

120/nr

14

[39]

/2

1/15

71/300

1,090/5,000+

 

0/0

14/154+

 

 

80/nr

15

[40]

/8

1/16

50/100

1,140/5,100

 

0/3+

[41]

14/157+

 

 

nr/50

22/5

1/17

60/nr

1,200/5,100+

 

0/22

[42]

14/179+

[43]

 

 

nr/120

19/5

Israeli unilateral cease-fire goes into effect 2:00 A.M. local time on 1/18; 7:00 P.M. 1/17 EST

1/18

154

[44]

/0

1,200/5,100+

 

0/2

[45]

14/181+

 

 

3/3

19

[46]

/0

Palestinian factions declare cease-fire midday local time on 1/18

1/19

14

[47]

/0

1,314/5,100+

 

0/0

14/181+

 

 

0/0

0/0

 

Totals based on daily reporting

12/27–

1/19

 

1,314/5,100+

 

 

14/181+

 

3/13

1,418+/1,109+

640/162

 

Totals based on reasonable final estimates

12/27–

1/19

1,417

[48]

/4,336–5,300

[49]

 

13–14

[50]

/518

[51]

 

3

[52]

/13

[53]

1,500/1,300

[54]

640

[55]

/162

[56]

 




[1]

These figures for Palestinian casualties are considered by JPS to be the most generally accepted; they are highly corroborated daily tolls and are based on a survey of available sources (sources for each day are listed in the Chronology section in this issue of JPS). However, they should be considered rough estimates only; they represent the most often cited figures in the press as Operation Cast Lead (OCL) was ongoing, and they are presented here primarily to give readers a sense of the general trend of the fighting during OCL. Given the intensity of Israel’s attacks, sources rarely attempted to give figures for dead and wounded in a given day, instead reporting cumulative estimates. JPS has provided calculations for “today d/w” based on the daily cumulative estimates to give readers a quick sense of casualty trends.

                Daily press releases by Palestinian hospitals and Gaza Health Ministry officials, usually corroborated/endorsed by UN agencies working in Gaza, seemed to be the basis of most daily casualty assessments reported in the press. Several factors account for discrepancies and uncertainty in the reporting: (1) the intensity of Israel’s assault and siege often made finding and transporting victims difficult; (2) the heavy pace of fighting likely made it difficult for hospitals to record deaths and injuries promptly; (3) officials pressed to give daily assessments seemed frequently to rely on estimates from sources in the field pinned down by fighting; and (4) Israel’s ban on reporters and others entering Gaza hampered independent corroboration of figures. In addition, many reports (e.g., New York Times 1/8) suggested that Hamas treated its fighters in the field or in private clinics, meaning that their casualties might not be included in these figures.

                A more accurate and detailed final accounting of Palestinian dead and wounded is provided in the “Palestinian Casualties” chart in this section of JPS, based on the weekly and special reports by the Gaza-based Palestine Center for Human Rights (PCHR; online at www.pchrgaza.org). PCHR provides perhaps the most accurate reporting from the ground, documenting and independently confirming fatalities and categorizing the data in various useful ways (e.g., age, gender, locale, civilian/militant). This type of detailed archiving does not lend itself to real-time reporting, however. Therefore, PCHR data provided only one component in the compilation of this report. PCHR’s weekly and final figures are, however, roughly in line with the daily tallies shown here, lending support to this document’s general accuracy.

[2]

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) routinely reported the number of air strikes it carried out and/or the number of targets it hit per day; the IDF daily briefings are available online at www.dover.idf.il. Differences between the number of air strikes conducted and targets hit can be explained by two factors: (1) some targets were hit several times per day and repeatedly throughout the operation; (2) many targets were hit by other than air strikes (e.g., naval bombardment, artillery fire, tank fire). The IDF apparently did not attempt to record (or at least did not release publicly) daily or cumulative figures for naval bombardments, artillery rounds fire, or targets hit by heavy machine gun, RPG, or small arms fire. Independent military expert Barbara Opall-Rome, however, has estimated that Israel fired at least 7,000 artillery rounds during OCL (see Barbara Opall-Rome, “Adapting Artillery to Urban War: Israel Records Drastic Drop in Rounds Fired,” Defense News, 23 March 2009).

[3]

Israel’s Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), closely tied to Israel’s intelligence establishment, was the primary source to provide regular breakdowns of rockets vs. mortars fired. The IDF typically lumped the two figures under “rockets,” and the international press typically reported the figures given in the IDF daily briefings. The Israeli Foreign Ministry and police also occasionally reported figures, which were frequently slightly different from the IDF’s. Prior to OCL, Palestinian missiles fired toward Israel frequently either exploded on launch or fell inside the Gaza Strip, and sources were inconsistent in reporting totals of missiles fired into Israel vs. missiles toward Israel; this could account for some of the discrepancies in Israeli figures. The numbers here represent what JPS believes to be the most accurate estimates on rockets and mortars that landed inside Israel based on a reading of available sources. Individual sources for each day are listed in the Chronology section of this JPS issue. For more information on the various types of rockets used, see “Palestinian Weapons Deployed against Israel during Operation Cast Lead” in this section.

[4]

One civilian killed, 4 wounded by Palestinian rocket fire. Israeli government sources do not seem to include the civilian fatality for the day in their casualty counts. However, OCL began late in the morning on 27 December, and so it is possible that this death occurred earlier in the day.

[5]

All are civilians injured by Palestinian rocket fire and include cases of shock.

[6]

An attempt by some Palestinians to flee Gaza through a breech in the Rafah border fence sparked an exchange of gunfire with Egyptian border police that left 1 Egyptian border policeman dead and 5 Egyptian border policemen and 1 Egyptian girl wounded. In that incident, 1 Palestinian was killed, and 4 were wounded; they are counted in the overall Palestinian statistics.

[7]

Includes 3 civilians (1 an Israeli Palestinian) killed by Palestinian rocket fire and 1 IDF soldier (a Druze) killed by Palestinian mortar fire on an IDF base inside Israel; 5 civilians (including 3 Israeli Palestinians) wounded by Palestinian rocket fire and 5 soldiers wounded by Palestinian mortar fire inside Israel.

[8]

All are civilians injured by Palestinian rocket fire; does not include cases of shock.

[9]

All are civilians injured by Palestinian rocket fire; includes cases of shock.

[10]

All are civilians injured by Palestinian rocket fire; includes cases of shock.

[11]

Beersheba Hospital reports that as of this date it had treated 10 Israeli civilians for moderate injuries and 154 for “stress,” stating (Washington Post 1/2) that “with each attack, we’ve gotten significantly less patients.”

[12]

The IDF estimates that 51 rockets fired to date have been Grads.

[13]

Both are civilians wounded by Palestinian rocket fire.

[14]

The IDF reports today that it has carried out around 750 air strikes and hit 661 individual targets. These figures are high for air strikes and low for targets compared to the IDF’s daily figures. Discrepancies cannot be explained.

[15]

Both are civilians wounded by Palestinian rocket fire.

[16]

With the launch of ground operations today, the IDF did not issue a comprehensive accounting of its attacks today.

[17]

All dead and wounded are IDF soldiers killed by Palestinians inside Gaza.

[18]

Includes at least 12 Grads. As of this date, the Israeli FMin. estimates that more than 60 Grads have been fired (Israeli Foreign Ministry, “Israel Expands Operation Cast Lead,” 4 January 2009).

[19]

3 IDF killed, 24 wounded in 2 friendly fire incidents; 1 IDF soldier killed, 6 wounded by Palestinians; 2 civilians wounded by rocket fire.

[20]

These are Palestinians seeking shelter in UN facilities only.

[21]

Includes 1 IDF soldier killed and 9 wounded by Palestinians inside Gaza; 1 civilian injured by Palestinian rocket fire inside Israel.

[22]

Around a dozen are Grads.

[23]

These are Palestinians seeking shelter in UN facilities only.

[24]

Includes 3 IDF soldiers killed, 14 wounded by Palestinians inside Gaza; 4 civilians injured by Palestinian rocket fire (possibly all suffering shock).

[25]

A Ukrainian woman married to a Palestinian and her toddler, also with Ukrainian citizenship, were killed by Israeli fire in Gaza City.

[26]

Includes “several” Grads.

[27]

The intensity of IDF fighting on 1/10, particularly around Gaza City, makes casualty reporting increasingly difficult, hence the range of numbers.

[28]

All are IDF soldiers wounded in exchanges with Palestinians inside Gaza.

[29]

At least 5 are Grads.

[30]

UN estimates 26,000 in UN shelters, 60,000 with relatives or elsewhere. UN estimates this figures has doubled in 48 hrs. because the IDF has intensified its assaults on Gaza City.

[31]

5 Egyptian border police, 2 Egyptian children inside Egyptian Rafah, wounded by IDF air strikes along the Rafah border.

[32]

At least 3 are Grads.

[33]

UN estimates 30,000 in UN shelters, 60,000 with relatives or elsewhere. The total includes an estimated 50,000 children.

[34]

All are IDF soldiers wounded by Palestinians inside Gaza.

[35]

Intense ground fighting around Gaza made casualty counting particularly difficult from 10 to 12 January. This figure represents the change over 4 days.

[36]

Includes 6 IDF soldiers wounded by Palestinians inside Gaza; 4 IDF soldiers wounded by friendly fire inside Gaza.

[37]

All are IDF soldiers wounded by Palestinians in Gaza.

[38]

The IDF reports 255 civilians injured by Palestinian rocket and mortar fire as of this date, possibly including those treated for shock.

[39]

Includes 4 Grads. As of this date, the IDF reports that Palestinians have fired 729 rockets and mortars since OCL began, a figure slightly higher that the daily totals shown here.

[40]

At least 3 are Grads.

[41]

All are civilians injured by Palestinian rocket fire.

[42]

Includes 4 IDF soldiers wounded by friendly fire, 13 wounded by Palestinians in Gaza; 5 civilians injured by Palestinian rocket fire inside Israel (possibly all are shock cases).

[43]

The IDF states that from the start of OCL to the declaration of a unilateral cease-fire on 1/17, more than 100 soldiers were wounded during OCL.

[44]

Estimated number of Palestinian bodies recovered today as IDF ground troops begin to withdraw.

[45]

Both are civilians wounded by Palestinian rocket fire before the Palestinian cease-fire goes into effect.

[46]

Hamas fires 15 rockets before the Palestinian declaration of a cease-fire. Other Palestinian factions (unnamed) fire 4 rockets after the Palestinian cease-fire is declared.

[47]

Bodies recovered by rescue workers entering areas evacuated by IDF troops.

[48]

The figure for Palestinian fatalities is from PCHR and is based on its 26 March 2009 addendum to its 19 March 2009 comprehensive report, which is the most authoritative to date (see Doc…… in this section). Fatalities include 116 women (8%), 313 children (22%), at least 7 medical workers (1%),  926 civilians (65%), 255 civil police not engaged in hostilities (18%), and 236 militants (17%). The World Health Organization reported 16 medical workers killed and 22 injured (as cited in OCHA, “Protection of Civilians Weekly Report,” 16–20 January 2009). By way of comparison, the IDF reported 1,166 Palestinians killed, classifying 709 as “terror operatives” and 295 as “noncombatants” (including 89 as children [under age 16] and 49 as women), with the remaining 162 of uncertain status (Yaakov Lappin, “IDF Releases Cast Lead Casualty Numbers,” Jerusalem Post, 26 March 2009).

[49]

The range for Palestinian wounded takes PCHR’s figure of 4,336 documented cases of Palestinians seeking treatment from its weekly report for 15–21 January 2009 as the low and the Gaza Health Ministry figure of 5,300 issued on 19 January 2009 as the high (reported in a UNICEF press release on 22 January). Most sources put the figure at “more than 5,000 wounded.”

[50]

The higher figure of 14 Israeli fatalities includes 3 Israeli civilians and 1 IDF soldier killed by Palestinian rocket and mortar fire inside Israel; 4 IDF soldiers killed by friendly fire inside Gaza; and 6 IDF soldiers killed by Palestinians inside Gaza. Israel does not seem to count 1 Israeli civilian fatality by Palestinian rocket fire on the opening day of OCL (12/27) in its statistics. Since the operation began late in the morning, it is possible that this death occurred earlier in the day. In any case, it is remarkable to note that roughly a third of Israeli fatalities were the result of friendly fire.

[51]

During OCL, Israeli officials rarely reported figures for wounded soldiers, likely because of morale and security concerns. The figure of 336 wounded (which includes at least 32 wounded by friendly fire, nearly 10% of the total) was released after the end of operations (Israeli Foreign Ministry, “IDF Operation in Gaza: Cast Lead,” 21 January 2009). Magen David Adom similarly released figures after the end of operations, reporting 182 civilians wounded (Magen David Adom, “MDA Statistics: Operation Cast Lead,” 26 January 2009, available online at www.mdais.com). Of the 182 wounded civilians, 4 were wounded seriously, 11 moderately, and 167 slightly. In addition, MDA reported treating 584 cases of shock, which JPS has not included as casualties here. As of 1/19, only 40 IDF soldiers and 13 civilians remained hospitalized (Ronen Medzini, “Peres to Wounded: Victory Is All Ours,” Yedi’ot Aharonot, 19 January 2009).

[52]

Fatalities include 1 Egyptian border policeman in Egyptian Rafah hit by Palestinian gunfire and 2 Ukrainian citizens killed by Israeli fire in Gaza.

[53]

The wounded include 5 Egyptian border policemen and 1 Egyptian girl injured by Palestinian gunfire and 5 Egyptian border policemen and 2 Israeli children wounded by Israeli fire. All were injured inside Egyptian Rafah.

[54]

As of JPS’s press time, the IDF had not released official comprehensive statistics on its sorties during OCL. The figures here, issued by Israel’s Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), closely tied to Israel’s intelligence community, were cited in the Washington Times on 1/20. They likely come from an official Israeli source and are in line with the IDF’s daily reports issued during OCL.

[55]

Various Israeli sources estimated that 10% of the rockets fired were long-distance Grads; see Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet), “Operation ‘Cast Lead’—Special Summary—13 Days of Fighting in the South,” 8 January 2009, and Yanir Yanga, “Shin Bet: 565 rockets, 200 mortar shells fired at Israel since start of Gaza op,” Ha’Aretz, 14 January 2009.

[56]

These figures are within the ranges reported by the Israeli military (555 rockets and 203 mortars as of 1/17) and Israeli police (849 rockets and mortars combined between 12/27 and 1/18). Israeli military figures were reported by ITIC on 1/18 and al-Jazeera on 1/20; police figures were reported by the Jerusalem Post on 1/20.

 

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