U.N. Cuts Estimated Gaza Deaths by Half

The United Nations (U.N.) cut the estimated number of casualties in Gaza by half.

On April 22, the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) declared the war resulted in 34,151 fatalities, including an estimated 14,500 children and more than 9,500 women.

A disclaimer appears on the U.N.’s website saying that the data was provided by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. The U.N. did not produce “independent, comprehensive, and verified casualty figures.”

On May 8, the U.N. released data totaling 34,844 casualties, although it noted that deaths through April 30 amounted to 24,686 people.

The number is 10,000 greater than what was initially stated on April 22.

David Adesnik, the Senior Fellow and Director of Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies said of the data, “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,” he continued. “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.”

Discussing changes in data, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres’ deputy secretary Farhan Ha explained that during the “fog of war,” it is “difficult to come up with numbers.”

“We get numbers from different sources on the ground, and then we try to crosscheck them. As we crosscheck them, we update the numbers, and we’ll continue to do that as that progresses,” Ha stated.

Israeli government spokesman Avi Hyman said the number of Gaza casualties is 14,000 terrorists and 16,000 civilians.

“We would expect everyone to now take these figures as a genuine estimate from a free democratic country that fights in strict accordance with the laws of armed conflict in one of the most challenging urban warfare scenarios in history,” Hyman said.

“Unlike Hamas, we don’t run to the media with numbers,” he added. “it’s virtually impossible to provide exact figures during an ongoing war.”

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