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How many innocent civilians does a powerful state kill in revenge for the killing of one of their own people?

David Anderson, May 2024
Military Operation Details Justice Process
Israel - Operation Swords of Iron (2023 - )
Israeli flag Netanyahu 20 for 1 Reprisal for 1200 Israelis killed by Hamas in the Oct 7th 2023 insurgence. 34,500 [1] killed in Gaza by May 2024 of which about three-quarters were civilians. [2] Netanyahu and other top officials are said to be currently under investigation by the International Criminal Court. [5]
Germany - Kragujevac massacre (1941)
Nazi flag Hitler 100 for 1 Reprisal for insurgent attacks in the Gornji Milanovac district of Yugoslavia that resulted in the deaths of ten German soldiers. Adolf Hitler declared that 100 hostages must be executed for every German soldier killed. [3] Adolf Hitler and Franz Böhme committed suicide before being put on trial.At the Nuremberg Trials, Wilhelm Keitel was sentenced to death, Franz Böhme to life imprisonment. [3]
United States & Allies - The War on Terror (2001 - )
American flag BushBlair 300 for 1 Reprisal for the Al Qaeda attack on the Twin Towers of 9/11 when 3000 died. About 4 Million [4] civilians have died over 22 years of continuous warfare which has brought destruction and chaos to Muslim countries. Many of these deaths are indirect consequences of the War On Terror, so I have assumed 25% to be 'directly' attributable. British MP Sir David Amess was murdered as rough justice for voting for UK airstrikes. George Bush and Tony Blair remain free.


  1. https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/latest-hostage-held-gaza-dies-israel-hamas-work-109895704
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Israel–Hamas_war#:~:text=The%20accuracy%20of%20these%20figures,at%2066%25%20of%20those%20killed
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kragujevac_massacre
  4. https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2023/Indirect%20Deaths%20Executive%20Summary-2.pdf
  5. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/israel-fears-icc-issue-arrest-warrants-netanyahu-gaza-war-hamas-rcna149739

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