Here's my analysis of the Palestinian casualty numbers from yesterday's Operation Arnon, in which four Israeli hostages were rescued from Gaza. Two hospitals reported receiving 109 and 101 bodies each, totaling 210 casualties. Of the bodies received by the first hospital, 23 were under age 18, 11 were women over age 18, and 75 were men over age 18.

Note that Hamas, the main Palestinian terror organization, does have some combatants under age 18, but reportedly no female combatants. We can assume, then, that all 11 adult female casualties were civilians. If we assume that the distribution of civilian casualties was proportionate to the regional demographics, then we'd estimate an additional 11 adult male casualties, for a total of 22 adult casualties, leaving 64 adult combatant casualties. Because Gaza's population is roughly 47% under age 18 and 53% adults, we can estimate that around 20 of the 23 child casualties were civilian, leaving 3 teenage combatant casualties. In total, of the 109 casualties brought to that hospital, I'm estimating roughly 67 combatants and 42 civilians.

If the second hospital has released their casualty demographics, I haven't seen it yet. Without those data, I'm estimating a similar breakdown, with 62 combatants and 39 civilians, for a total of 129 combatants and 81 civilians.

What are the implications of this estimate? If the estimate is accurate, that means that Israel managed a civilian:combatant ratio of roughly 0.63:1. For urban warfare, that is absolutely phenomenal. Anything better than 1:1 is difficult to achieve, yet Israel managed is in a highly sensitive operation.