The war between Hamas and Israelcase
According to figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry, controlled by Hamas, around 3,400 children have died in Gaza since October 7. As of October 25, around thirty Israeli children had been identified among Hamas victims.
Question asked Monday October 30.
You asked us about a tweet from American journalist Evan Hill from Washington Post. In his widely reported article, the journalist declares: “In the last three weeks, 3,195 children were killed in Gaza, 29 in Israel. The number of children killed in Gaza has exceeded the annual number of children killed in conflict zones across the world since 2019, according to Save the Children.
Over the past three weeks, 3,195 children have been killed in Gaza, 29 in Israel. The number of children killed in Gaza has exceeded the annual number of children killed in conflict zones around the world since 2019, according to Save the Children. pic.twitter.com/N2FEbP6sge
-Evan Hill (@evanhill) October 31, 2023
The journalist refers to a communication from the NGO “Save the Children” entitled “GAZA: with 3,195 children killed in three weeks, the toll exceeds the annual number of children killed in conflict zones since 2019.”
The NGO thus counts 3,195 children dead in Gaza, and mentions 29 children killed in Israel. Concerning the first figure, the NGO refers to a communication from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) of October 28 where we actually read that, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health controlled by Hamas , 7,703 people have died in Gaza since the start of the Israeli response, including 1,863 women and 3,195 children.
Concerning the number of Israeli children killed since October 7 (i.e. during the Hamas terrorist assault), Save the Children refers to another Ocha press release, dated October 25, this one . It reads:
“According to Israeli sources, at least 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals were killed in Israel, and at least 5,431 were injured, the vast majority on October 7. Israeli media reported that as of October 25, the names of 914 of these victims had been identified. published, including 587 civilians, 269 soldiers and 58 police officers. Of those whose ages were given, 29 are children. The number of 29 is therefore not exhaustive: the age is not systematically mentioned, and the count does not include, by definition, victims not yet identified.
Note that these figures (concerning the deaths of Gazans or Israelis) have evolved since the publication of the NGO Save the Children, cited by Evan Hill. The most recent were given yesterday by Unicef executive director Catherine Russell: “According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, more than 8,300 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, including more than 3,400 children, and more than 6,300 children were injured. This means that more than 420 children are killed or injured every day in Gaza – a number that should shake each and every one of us to our core. Of course, violence against children extends beyond the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, at least 37 children were reported killed. And of course, more than 30 Israeli children have reportedly been killed, while at least 20 of them remain hostages in the Gaza Strip – their fate unknown. »
Independent work impossible
As we wrote in a previous article, several details must be provided regarding the number of deaths on the Palestinian side. First of all, they do not distinguish between Hamas members and civilians (which, for young children, makes no difference). Furthermore, this data on deaths in Gaza also includes victims of failed shots on the Palestinian side. Thus, the Ocha press release specifies: “According to the Israeli army spokesperson, between October 7 and 21, Palestinian armed groups fired 550 misfired rockets towards Israel, which failed in Gaza, killing Palestinians. »
Finally, this count now relies solely on the Gaza Ministry of Health, controlled by Hamas since 2007, and cannot be independently verified. Until recently, the ministry’s data could be cross-checked on site by Ocha, which produced its own consistent figures. The statistics from the Palestinian Ministry of Health were therefore considered reliable. Thus, the assessments of the latest conflicts carried out by the Ministry of Health and Ocha were very tight, as AP recalls in a recent dispatch. The violence of the bombings on Gaza has made Ocha’s work impossible since October 7.
International institutions, however, continue to cite figures from the Gaza Ministry of Health, the only ones available, specifying that they are not verified. Thus, Ocha specifies in its communication of October 28: “So far, the UN has been unable to produce independent, comprehensive and verified casualty figures. The current figures were provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza and by Israeli authorities and await further verification. Other figures still to be verified also come from.”