For the last 23 months, Israel and the Palestinian Arabs have been engaged in a “low-intensity conflict” generally referred to as the “al-Aqsa Intifada”. This conflict has caused over 2,200 deaths so far; and yet, its most significant aspect seems to be the struggle for international public opinion rather than any effort at gaining a conventional military victory. New reports of death and injury appear almost daily in the world’s news media, generally accompanied by the current tally of the total number of people killed on each side. Pundits and laymen read these reports and draw conclusions from the simplistic statistics they convey.
Before many months of this conflict had passed, it became apparent to some observers that the “fatality scorecard” commonly included in coverage of the al-Aqsa conflict was painting an oversimplified and deceptive picture of a complex reality. A more thorough accounting and analysis of the conflict’s incidents and casualties should enable a better understanding of the true nature of the conflict. Accordingly, the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) launched the Al-Aqsa Casualties Database Project to provide such an accounting.