Gross Distortion of Casualty Figures

A letter to the Lancet, titled ‘Counting the dead in Gaza: difficult but essential’, is being used by enemies of Israel to promote another gross distortion of the casualty figures in the Hamas-Israel war. Many people are missing the fact that this is correspondence to the journal and not a peer-reviewed article.

Using various sources of information, which analysts say are unreliable, the authors of the letter claim that in armed conflicts ‘indirect deaths range from three to 15 times the number of direct deaths’ and ‘applying a conservative estimate of four indirect deaths per one direct death’ means that ‘it is not implausible to estimate that up to 186,000 or even more deaths could be attributable to the current conflict in Gaza.’

From that statement it should be clear that these authors are estimating how many total deaths may eventually be attributable to the war. But opponents of Israel, such as UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese and UK Labour MP Zara Sultana, are distorting the meaning of the publication to imply that the death toll could already be that high. Their social media posts have been shared tens of thousands of times.

Zara Sultana tweet

In the following YouTube video, Israeli citizen spokeswoman Rachel Lester reveals the scale of this distortion.