‘Nothing Wrong’ – WHO defends UN, Hamas civilian casualty counts

After UN and Hamas health ministry retract massively inflated civilian casualty estimates, World Health Organization dismisses concerns over figures’ veracity.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

The World Health Organization on Tuesday dismissed concerns over the veracity of the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry’s civilian casualty figures, after the United Nations abruptly revised their death toll estimates downward.

There is “nothing wrong with the data, the overall data are still the same, World Health Organization spokesman Christian Lindmeier said at a press briefing in Geneva Tuesday, downplaying concerns over the reliability of figures provided by Hamas-operated agencies in Gaza.

“The fact we now have 25,000 identified people is a step forward.”

Liz Throssel, a spokesperson for the United Nations human rights office, questioned the relevance of separating women and children from potential combatants in the death toll count.

“We’re basically talking about 35,000 people who are dead, and really every life matters, doesn’t it?” Throssel said at the press briefing.

“And we know that many and many of those are women and children and there are 1,000s missing under the rubble.”

On May 6th, the United Nations reported, based on data received from the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, that since the beginning of the present war between Israel and Hamas following the October 7th invasion, a total of 34,735 Gazans have been killed.

Of those, the May 6th report claimed, some 9,500 were women and 14,500 were children.

Combined, women and children made up 69.1% of all Gazans killed in the fighting in Gaza, according to the data provided by the Gaza health ministry.

Some analyses, however, questioned this figure, including a report published by Fathom Journal suggested that such a breakdown was “statistically impossible.”

Two days later, the United Nations cut the number of women and children estimated to have been killed by roughly 50%, down to 4,959 women and 7,797 children, out of 34,844 total fatalities.

Rather than providing an explanation for such a wide disparity, the UN stated that it “has so far not been able to produce independent, comprehensive, and verified casualty figures.”