Hamas, not IDF airstrikes, killed Israeli hostages, say researchers

Statistical analysis debunks Hamas’ claim that 25% of hostages were killed by IAF airstrikes.

By World Israel News Staff

A team of Israeli researchers is challenging the narrative pushed by Hamas that a significant number of Israeli hostages held by Hamas were accidentally killed in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, proving through statistical analysis that it is far more plausible they were murdered by their captors.

At least 23 Israeli hostages are believed to have been killed in captivity. Hamas has said that all those deaths resulted from Israeli airstrikes, and have never admitted to executing any of those kidnapped.

However, a new study published in the Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ) demonstrates how that explanation for their deaths “is highly implausible.”

Prof. Francis Mimouni and Dr. Sefi Mendlovic, both of Shaare Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, and Dr. Yuval Dadon, a Health Ministry official, performed the analysis based on numbers of deaths from airstrikes given by both Hamas and the Israeli government.

According to both those data sets, the death rate of the hostages from alleged Israeli bombing was “strikingly and significantly higher” – approximately – than that of the general population of Gaza.

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The Gazan civilian death rate from airstrikes, according to Hamas, is 8 percent – though that number is likely greatly exaggerated, and includes both the deaths of terrorists and those killed by misfired Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets.

Notably, if Hamas claims were taken at face value, the death rate from airstrikes among the hostages would be a staggering 25 percent.

That discrepancy could be explained in several ways, including that the hostages were kept in open areas where they were more likely to be killed by aerial raids. The researchers found that theory to be unlikely, as the hostages were kept either underground or in apartments in order to impede rescue efforts.

The more likely and “chilling” explanation, the researchers wrote, is that the hostages were simply murdered by their captors at various points in time. Rather than taking responsibility, Hamas lied and claimed their deaths were caused by airstrikes, as a tool of psychological warfare against Israel.

The fate of the 134 hostages remaining in Gaza is still unclear, as Hamas has refused to give Israel a list of those who are still alive.

In recent weeks, Israeli intelligence confirmed that a number of those initially listed as hostages were actually killed on October 7th and that their bodies are being held in the Strip.

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