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UN explains lowered numbers for women and children dead in Gaza

A man wearing a UNWRA jacket at the site of an Israeli airstrike Associated Press/Photo by Abdel Kareem Hana

UN explains lowered numbers for women and children dead in Gaza

United Nations Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that lowered death tolls for women and children in Gaza resulted from the Hamas-run Health Ministry adjusting its breakdown of total deaths. Now, the reported deaths of women and children reflect only individuals whom Hamas officials have fully identified and documented, Haq said. Thousands of other dead bodies have been counted but not fully documented or identified, he said. The UN also said it could not verify the terrorist organization’s figures independently. The Jerusalem Post on Monday had initially reported about the revised totals for women and children fatalities.

How did they clarify the numbers? The Health Ministry still has to identify 10,000 bodies of the more than 34,000 total dead in Gaza, and that work continues, Haq said. Of the bodies that have been identified are nearly 7,800 children and nearly 5,000 women. Hamas’s Health Ministry previously counted thousands more as dead—roughly 13,000 children and more than 9,000 women.

What does Israel have to say? The Israeli Defense Forces has published many of their methods for trying to reduce civilian casualties in areas where they conduct military operations. Their methods include texting and calling civilians in the area, warning them about upcoming operations, and recommending evacuation. They also include dropping leaflets and non-lethal dummy bombs on areas they plan to strike to let civilians know an attack is incoming.

What do other organizations have to say about the civilian death toll in Gaza? Israeli forces have attacked known and documented locations of humanitarian aid workers at least eight times during the war in Gaza, Human Rights Watch claimed Tuesday. Its report included the Israeli airstrike on a convoy of World Central Kitchen aid workers.

Israel admitted responsibility for the World Central Kitchen attack and promised to do a better job of protecting aid workers. It said the attack took place in gross violation of its policies for protecting non-combatants. As a result, two officers were dismissed, and several others were reprimanded.

Dig deeper: Read Travis Kircher’s initial report in The Sift on the UN revising the death toll.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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