UN Finally Realizes Hamas Isn't a Reliable Source, Reduces Gaza Death Numbers by... a Lot

AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg

The UN just made an embarrassing adjustment to their estimated number of deaths in Gaza. They just halved the number of women and children previously estimated to have been killed.

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While more than 9,500 women and 14,500 children were reported among the fatalities by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on May 6, two days later that number was revised significantly downward. Today, under 5,000 women and 8,000 children are now officially listed by the UN as casualties.

Part of the problem was that they were using numbers from Hamas-controlled sources. And even now, that's still what they're relying on — the numbers from the Gaza Health Ministry. Listen as the UN spokesperson tries to explain how the numbers can be so off — but hey, you can rely on them, because we're always checking on them — even though they were running with incorrect numbers. 

“In the fog of war, it’s difficult to come up with numbers,” the UN spokesperson said. "But we’re just going with what we can absolutely confirm, which will always be the low end of what the numbers are.”

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Uh-huh. But it wasn't. You say this, even as you admit you weren't running with accurate numbers or always on the "low end."  

Hillel Neuer of UN Watch said that the UN wasn't employing the same methods they use in other cases. 

David Adesnik, director of research at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), has a long thread on X where he notes the problems with the unreliability of the figures, including that some "unidentified" are based on "media reports" [meaning no body] and that they're estimating about 10,000 missing or under rubble, for which they have not provided support. 

So what's to say that even these new numbers are correct, given the questionable sourcing? 

Meanwhile, the media have been running with these numbers, and even Joe Biden has been going after Israel over these numbers. What these numbers did was inflate the percentage of the "women and children" compared to the male number, and they don't identify who are "combatants/Hamas" either. How can the Biden team be shaping policy based on unverified numbers? 

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough tweeted about the revision, and he was attacked by folks on the left. 

You would think they would be happy that the number of women and children estimated to have been killed had fallen. But instead, they were mad that people who pointed out the numbers were being questioned. It doesn't help their narrative. 

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