The United Nations halves the estimate of women and children killed in Gaza

Without announcement, the United Nations (UN) significantly lowers its previously mentioned list of victims in the Gaza Strip

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The United Nations has significantly adjusted the number of Palestinian casualties due to the ongoing war in Gaza, halving the number of previously reported women and children killed.

According to the UN, the fatalities included more than 9,500 women and 14,500 children Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) On May 6, two days later, this number was revised significantly downwards. Today, fewer than 5,000 women and 8,000 children are officially listed as victims by the United Nations.

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David Adesnik, research director at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told the National Post he suspects the discrepancy was due to the UN’s decision to quietly stop using figures provided by the Hamas-run Government Media Office (GMO).

“So you see May 6th and before, the GMO (listed as source); Suddenly, on May 8, they stopped citing a source,” Adesnik told the Post on Sunday by phone. He pointed to the similarity between the new figures and those from a May 2 report by the Gaza Ministry of Health (GMH) as an indication that the UN had done so has abandoned the media office’s figures in favor of the Ministry of Health’s figures, “even though the matter does not mention (the Gaza) Ministry of Health.”

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“We have clearly made a shift here from the large number of GMOs for which a clear basis has never been developed; as if they were simply stating their own claim. While the Ministry of Health is doing more to strengthen its case,” he said.

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The differences between the two data sets were examined by Gabriel Epstein of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, an American think tank, who found at the end of March that they were “giving way”“completely different and inconsistent results, suggesting that media reporting methodology drastically underestimates the number of deaths among adult men, the group most likely to be combatants.”

Epstein argued that his analysis of the two Hamas-run institutions “undermines the… stubborn claim that 72 percent of those killed in Gaza are women and children.”

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, an organization that oversees the body’s agency constellation, told the Post that the UN’s approach to monitoring Israel and Gaza is unique.

“The UN’s method of reporting deaths in Gaza is the complete opposite of what they do in other conflict situations,” Neuer said, pointing to the UN’s recent efforts in Ukraine, where they have “established a defined methodology, which uses individual records of civil damages where “a standard of proof has been met, namely, reasonable grounds for believing that the damage occurred.”

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Neuer said the different approach stems from the institutional anti-Israel bias that plagues the international community.

“But if you can blame Israel, the exact opposite is true. There is no method or standard of proof for reporting deaths in Gaza. All the UN does is parrot numbers provided by Hamas, which the UN legitimizes as a neutral-sounding “Gaza Ministry of Health” or “Government Media Office,” when in reality both are run by the Hamas terrorist organization. ”

Neuer described the significant update, which was not announced, as an admission of “essentially… presenting completely false numbers to the media and the world.” The UN Watch leader encouraged the body to abide by its own rules on the Syrian civil war “as the UN human rights office announced it had stopped updating the death toll … because it could no longer verify sources of information and recognize indicates that it is unable to verify “source material” from others.”

The news comes a month after the Hamas-run Health Ministry publicly revealed that more than 10,000 previously reported deaths had “incomplete data” and were missing basic biographical information such as their names. Such recent developments have cast serious doubt on Hamas’ previous claims that 70 percent of Palestinian victims in the Israel-Hamas war were either women or children. According to the Times of Israel, the latest revision would bring the ratio of combatants to civilians killed in the conflict to nearly 1:1.

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“In any case, the number would be historically low for modern urban warfare,” John Spencer, head of urban warfare research at West Point, wrote in late March, contextualizing the conduct of Israel’s military operations in comparison to other recent urban combat theaters such as Mosul in Iraq the Islamic State.

Two days after Spencer’s article, Professor Abraham Wyner of the University of Pennsylvania spoke to the Post and explained a recent analysis he conducted of the Gaza Health Ministry, in which he suggested that the numbers were largely falsified by Hamas to serve its political purpose to fit the narrative.

“Hamas has not provided detailed data since the war began. And why should it be that way?” Wyner said via email. “You use what you can.”

National Post

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