(The Algemeiner) – News outlets have reported nearly 16,000 deaths in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, as Israel attempts to remove the group that slaughtered 1,200 Israelis on October 7, and many innocent Jews in the preceding years.
But Gaza casualty figures come from the Hamas-run health ministry.
Hamas’ full name is the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement. Its founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel, and a genocide of Jews. By 1995 the United States had designated Hamas — funded, armed, and trained by Iran — a terrorist organization.
The group’s casualty figures, usually said to comprise “mostly women and children” are used to destroy support for Israel on the world stage, and put pressure on President Joe Biden to let Hamas survive. The demand that Israel stop or reduce its campaign – dressed as concern over “indiscriminate” Israeli attacks, comes from administration staffers, congressional Democrats and America’s post-liberal, anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish left.
So, the Biden administration, which botched the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, and failed to discourage Vladimir Putin before he launched Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, now attempts to direct and manage Israel’s war against Hamas.
There are good reasons to doubt statistics from the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry (more on that below). But assume momentarily the casualty count is correct. Do likewise with Israel’s late November estimate that it had killed up to 4,000 terrorists. That leaves approximately 11,000 noncombatant Palestinian Arab fatalities.
Four thousand dead gunmen to 11,000 noncombatant fatalities is a proportion of 2.63 to 1. In 2015, the United Nations put combatant-to-noncombatant deaths caused by US and British forces in Afghanistan and Iraq at between 3:1 and 4:1.
And that’s assuming Hamas’ numbers can be trusted. But they can’t be.
After the 50-day Israel-Hamas 2014 war in the Gaza Strip, Gen. Martin Dempsey, then chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that Israel had gone out of its way to minimize non-combatant casualties, including by warning civilians of pending attacks in their neighborhoods.
The IDF has done the same in current fighting, dropping leaflets, making phone calls by Arabic-speaking IDF soldiers, and otherwise urging civilians to flee from Hamas targets. As Daniel Pomerantz pointed out, Israel even fired against Hamas soldiers to protect Palestinian civilians.
Numbers Can Lie
According to Lenny Ben-David, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Hamas’ current figures are essentially “fanciful propaganda statistics.” That’s because after the 2014 war, which Hamas provoked by kidnapping and murdering three Israelis, its health ministry stopped specifying fatalities by age and sex.
Now Hamas lumps all Gazan deaths since October 7 together. This includes all Hamas terrorists; the approximately 750 who died of natural causes through November 30, per CIA calculations; the hundreds supposedly killed by strikes at the al-Ahli Hospital (by the errant Palestinian Islamic Jihad missile) in the Jabalya refugee district (more likely 40 to 50 combined as suggested by photographs); and an unknown number of “collaborators” killed by Hamas or its junior partner, the Iranian-supported PIJ.
In another analysis for the Jerusalem Center, “Hamas’ Numbers Warfare,” Prof. Kobi Michael, a senior researcher at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, asked how it was that after the first five weeks of fighting, “neither the Hamas leadership nor the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported a single casualty among Hamas forces.” Further, “no one questioned how PMH reported 30,000 Palestinians wounded when the total number of hospital beds in all medical facilities in Gaza, including UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] clinics, did not exceed 3,000. So, where exactly are all the 30,000 wounded?”
Michael estimated dead and wounded Gazans at 50 percent of the total announced by Hamas-controlled officials, and “at least half of the number of dead and wounded are probably Hamas members..”
Next, former US intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance has noted:
16,000 dead? HOW DO YOU KNOW THESE KILLED FIGURES ARE TRUE?
The number of Palestinians casualties reported are almost IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE.
Yes, the number of KIA/WIA may ultimately be grievous but I predict these 1,000 KIA per day numbers are simply JUST MADE UP by HAMAS. WHO IS COUNTING DEAD & WOUNDED & MISSING?
We’ve seen one mass grave of 110 adults. Until the ceasefire there was no integrated medical reporting system or even Wi-Fi, right? How did Doctors collect & pass info on verified dead? Did they use couriers with notebooks? Signal flags? Carrier pigeons?
Outside of hospital tallies (& those directors have lied repeatedly about casualties) how do they know how many actually died outside of in their care? Where are they buried? Were HAMAS terrorist KIA numbers were included? Who is collecting & documenting the corpses in the streets. Where are they all buried? Are there over 160 mass graves (w/100 bodies) the world has somehow not seen?
Also how DID HAMAS KNOW all the exact names, ID numbers & family members on the list of 6,700 dead a week ago? Sorry. I don’t believe it. I worked Satellite imagery analysis on the Srebrenica massacre of 6,000 KIA & seen countable graves at ISIS’s & Mariupol’s mass grave sites. You can make a raw estimate from the mass graves. BUT WHERE ARE THEY IN GAZA?
Don’t tell me all victims are all buried under buildings. Then it’s just as possible the building was empty. Sorry It is just Impossible to verify ANY HAMAS health ministry death tolls. The media, NGOs & UN uses HAMAS figures.
President Joe Biden blundered in late October by confessing he was “disappointed in myself” for publicly doubting Hamas-issued Palestinian casualty counts. Biden made his initial, more pertinent public statement on the numbers on October 25, saying, “I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed.” He added that “I’m sure innocents have been killed, and it’s a price of waging war.”
Blame Not a Game
Only a day later, American Muslim representatives were in the White House, urging the president to show more empathy for Hamas’ human shield/human sacrifice victims. That is, to pressure Israel to back off.
Shortly before the American Civil War, William T. Sherman, later Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s right-hand man as a general himself, served as superintendent of the Louisiana Seminary of Learning and Military Academy (now Louisiana State University). He thought Southern enthusiasm for secession was mad. He is said to have warned that secession would lead to war and war to massive death and destruction. It did, including his famous “march to the sea” that destroyed much of Georgia and South Carolina.
What does that have to do with Hamas and Israel? After October 7 and the IDF’s counter-attack, Hamas pledged to attempt more genocidal raids into Israel until the Jewish state and its Jews are destroyed. Israeli officials believe the organization started the war with approximately 30,000 gunmen. To eliminate future threats from Gaza and reestablish deterrence against the larger Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon, the IDF will have to kill thousands more Hamas members. Given the choice the terrorists made to fight among Gaza’s civilians, that means many more noncombatant deaths.
Israel’s enemies invert the distinction between those sworn to murder Jews and Jews committed to defend themselves. Their progressive jargon fails to hide an antisemitic reaction that is both neo-Marxist and neo-Nazi. The White House must reassert that responsibility for noncombatant deaths in the Gaza Strip belongs to the Jew haters, not the Jewish state.