‘Wildly exaggerated’: Top medical journal massively inflates Gaza civilian deaths to 186,000

Prominently placing the imaginary casualty figure of 186,000 implies Israel was responsible for these deaths.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

One of the world’s top medical journals is pushing claims that close to 200,000 civilians have died in the Gaza Strip, significantly exceeding even Hamas’ own estimates of the death toll.

In a letter published in the prominent medical journal The Lancet, authors argued that “indirect” deaths in Gaza may be as high as 186,000, before claiming that their statement was simply meant to illustrate a point.

The wildly exaggerated 186,000 figure was circulated on social media and shared by many anti-Israel voices, including United Nations Rapporteur Francesca Albanese, who has a history of making false and defamatory statements against Israel.

The letter’s authors were Rasha Khatib, Martin McKee and Salim Yusuf.

Rasha Khatib has often praised Palestinian terrorism and called Hamas’s brutal acts an “inevitable response to the occupation.”

The letter was titled, “Counting the dead in Gaza: difficult but essential,” and began with the Hamas Health Ministry number of 37,396 casualties. This figure has been reported often in the media but never independently verified.

The letter then asserts that the real number of Gazan casualties is 15 times higher than 37,396 because they insist on counting “indirect deaths.”

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It continues, “It is not implausible to estimate that up to 186,000 or even more deaths could be attributable to the current conflict in Gaza.”

“Using the 2022 Gaza Strip population estimate of 2,375,259, this would translate to 7·9% of the total population in the Gaza Strip,” the letter concludes.

Prominently placing the figure 186,000 in the letter implies that Israel was responsible for these deaths, although they were mere speculation and not real casualty numbers.

In addition, as pointed out by Honest Reporting, the “indirect deaths” are due to conditions created by the war and not by actual aggression or killing by the other side.

Several days after the letter was shared on social media, one of the authors, Martin McKee, wrote that he intended the figures to be “purely illustrative” and that “our piece has been greatly misquoted and misinterpreted.”

However, none of the authors have retracted the piece or the figures quoted.