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Think India needs to learn how to crush terrorism in Kashmir from Israel? Think again

By Praveen Swami, Aug 09, 2019 19:45:50 IST


Israel’s counter-terrorism response is much tougher on civilians; Kashmir had 9.3 civilian fatalities per 100,000 population, whereas, it was 36.7 in Palestinian territoriesIndian forces killed many more non-state combatants than Israeli forces in 2009-2019 — 1,828 to 1,254

Israel kills a lot more civilians — but isn’t better than India at fighting actual terrorists.

Israel’s counter-terrorism response is much tougher on civilians. Between 2009 and 2019, Israel killed 1,771 Palestinian civilians while Kashmir saw 647 civilian fatalities, however, over half of them were victims of terrorists, not Indian forces. Adjusting for population, Kashmir had 9.3 civilian fatalities per 100,000 population, whereas, it was 36.7 in Palestinian territories.

Indian soldiers in Kashmir. PTI


Lots of Indians think Israel’s also better at killing terrorists. Not so. Indian forces killed many more non-state combatants than Israeli forces in 2009-2019 — 1,828 to 1,254. Population adjusted, both sides were identical, at 26 per 100,000. Bear in mind that Israel’s figures include civilians participating in hostilities, not necessarily armed and trained combatants, and India’s record is even more impressive.



Even though India kills more terrorists than Israel, it also loses more security force personnel — 674 in the 2009-2019 period, to 95 of Israel. This shouldn’t surprise us: Israel spends far more on resourcing its forces. Everything from air reconnaissance to night vision is routinely available to Israeli troops; not so for Indians.

One also needs to understand that India carries out counter-insurgency operations in a terrain tougher than the one faced by Israeli soldiers and next to a nuclear-armed neighbour aiding terrorists.


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