DANIEL VAUGHAN: Hamas Gets Caught Lying About Palestinian Death Numbers

 May 13, 2024

Ever since Hamas launched its terrorist attacks on Israel, it has also released a stream of nonsense regarding casualties in Gaza from Israel's military. No one has verified a single number from the "Gaza Ministry of Health" or the "Government Media Office." Both are run by Hamas and uncritically repeat whatever the organization wants them to say. The lying has a point. Those opposed to Israel can uncritically use the numbers to bash Israel over the head.

We got another sign this week that everything being reported by these Hamas mouthpieces is fake. Between May 6 and May 8, the United Nations quietly changed what it was reporting regarding Palestinian deaths. The Jerusalem Post was the first to notice this change, "On May 6, the UN published data showing that 34,735 people had reportedly been killed in Gaza, including over 9,500 women and over 14,500 children. On May 8, the UN published data showing 34,844 people had reportedly been killed, including 4,959 women and 7,797 children."

Overnight, the UN said nearly a third of all deaths were switched from women and children to men. No explanation was given. Switching the designation like that of more than 10,000 people in official figures is quite the trick. David Adesnik, FDD Senior Fellow and Director of Research, said of the change, "This change may signal that the UN has finally recognized the lack of evidence behind Hamas's original claims that more than 14,000 children and 9,000 women have been killed in Gaza. If so, the UN should state clearly that it has lost confidence in sources whose credibility it has affirmed for months. While this change may only reflect the conclusion of one UN office out of the many operating in Gaza, it is a clear step forward."

Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD's Long War Journal, added, "For observers following the conflict, it should have been evident, since the war began, that data published by Hamas and its affiliates requires rigorous scrutiny. While the UN's belated decision to rectify the casualty figures is welcome, it may come too late to undo the harm already caused. The delay has bolstered Hamas's position and increased its chances of survival in the conflict."

Looking at the same data change, Elliott Abrams at the Counsel on Foreign Relations said, "Hamas wants the world to believe that the main casualties and fatalities have been women and children, an argument almost universally accepted until very recently. Now even the UN, or one part of the UN, silently acknowledges that it blindly accepted Hamas numbers meant to mislead. Others who accepted the Hamas propaganda should do likewise, and all have an obligation to come clean—not least the media in the United States and elsewhere."

Moreover, Hamas admits there are errors in its "data." An FDD report noted, "In early April, the Gaza Ministry of Health admitted it had "incomplete data" to document more than 10,000 of the deaths it had previously reported. Subsequently, the ministry indicated that it did not have names for more than 10,000 of the individuals it claimed to be deceased. As of April 1, the ministry also stopped repeating the claim it made since the first weeks of the war that 70 percent of the dead were women and children, even suggesting the media invented this number. Meanwhile, the GMO continues to promote the 70 percent figure while revising its own numbers upwards, to remain consistent with that claim."

Even with this shift from the UN, we still have no proof that anything Hamas claims is true. The problem of fabrication is well known. Statisticians analyzing the data pointed out long ago that the Hamas figures rose in a perfect and uniform statistical manner. China pulled a similar trick over its COVID-19 cases and deaths. And just like China, Hamas is lying about its numbers to drive a specific, government-approved narrative.

No matter how you look at it, whether questioning the Hamas data or subjecting it to statistical scrutiny, everything falls apart. And now, not even the United Nations, a group more friendly to Hamas than anyone, can repeat these figures with a straight face. Hamas is using these figures to hide the number of terrorist fighters Israel is killing. We don't have names or proof of anything Hamas is saying.

To the average person, this is to be expected. Accepting anything a terrorist group says at face value is a ludicrous proposition. Hamas is in total control of all Palestinian governing organizations. But too many useful idiots in the Western press repeat these notions uncritically to their listeners, viewers, and readers. Biden repeats these numbers uncritically, too, as a way to support his anti-Israel pivot.

It's all a lie. And those in charge know that it's a lie. We should question the motives of anyone uncritically repeating this nonsense. If you're using a terrorist group's talking points in your arguments regarding Israel, what does that say about you?

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