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Despite Biden’s claims, Gaza health ministry death toll is accurate, scientific studies show

US President Biden criticized Gaza’s health ministry, but its statistics on Israel’s killings of Palestinians are accurate, according to peer-reviewed articles in top medical journal The Lancet.

gaza israel bombing nov 2023 1

The death toll of Israel’s war on Gaza reported by the Palestinian health ministry is accurate, according to two peer-reviewed studies by scientific experts published in top medical journal The Lancet.

As of December 18, Israel had killed 19,453 Palestinians in Gaza, the ministry reported. Two-thirds of the deaths were children (7,729) and women (5,153).

United Nations bodies, human rights organizations, and major media outlets have often used these statistics, because they have a history of being accurate.

“International organizations including the United Nations usually rely on these same figures as they are seen as the best available”, the Washington Post acknowledged.

“Many experts consider figures provided by the ministry reliable, given its access, sources and accuracy in past statements”, the prominent US newspaper wrote.

Israel has claimed, without any evidence, that Gaza’s health ministry is untrustworthy, because it is supposedly run by the political party Hamas. (In reality, the Gaza health ministry is partially funded by and linked to Hamas’ political rival, the Palestinian Authority, based in the Occupied West Bank.)

The US government has echoed Israel’s disinformation. President Joe Biden said in an October 25 press conference, “I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed… I have no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using”.

Despite Biden’s criticism, HuffPost revealed that the US State Department uses the Palestinian health ministry figures in its own reports on Gaza.

In one of such memos, a US official acknowledged that, if anything, “The numbers are likely much higher, according to the UN and NGOs reporting on the situation”.

“No evidence of inflated mortality reporting from the Gaza Ministry of Health”

This was exactly the conclusion reached by scientific experts at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The peer-reviewed article “No evidence of inflated mortality reporting from the Gaza Ministry of Health”, published in leading medical journal The Lancet on December 6, noted that the Palestinian institution “has historically reported accurate mortality data”.

In past conflicts, discrepancies between Gaza Ministry of Health (MoH) data and independent United Nations figures were only between 1.5% and 3.8%.

Gaza MoH data were also quite similar to figures from Israel’s own Foreign Ministry, with a difference of just around 8%.

Scholars Benjamin Q Huynh, Elizabeth T Chin, and Paul B Spiegel wrote that they “found no evidence of inflated rates”.

“Assessments of Palestinian MoH data validity in the 2014 conflict had shown them to be accurate”

Scientific experts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine came to a similar conclusion in their own peer-reviewed article in The Lancet, published on November 26.

For this previous study, scholars Zeina Jamaluddine, Francesco Checchi, and Oona M R Campbell reviewed death statistics from October 7 to 26, analyzing the list of 7028 deaths compiled by the Gaza Ministry of Health.

Out of the 7028 names, only one had a duplicated ID number, one had an implausible age, and just 281 lacked an ID number.

The experts concluded that the data were reasonable, writing, “We consider it implausible that these patterns would arise from data fabrication”.

They also reviewed MoH figures from previous wars in Gaza, and found them to be reliable.

“Assessments of Palestinian MoH data validity in the 2014 conflict had shown them to be accurate, and we saw no obvious reason to doubt the validity of the data between Oct 7 and Oct 26, 2023”, the scholars stated.

If anything, they concluded that the Gaza MoH figures may be rather conservative.

“The death reporting system currently being used by the Palestinian MoH was assessed in 2021, 2 years before the current war, and was found to under-report mortality by 13%”, they wrote, adding that “it is plausible that the current Palestinian MoH source also under-reports mortality because of the direct effect of the war on data capture and reporting, for example by omitting people whose bodies could not be recovered or brought to morgues”.



  1. Cure E Us

    2023-12-19 at 19:00

    {The Colonialist} sponsors its demented vassal’s dreadful misdeeds. All the two have to offer is malicious propaganda, hypocrisy, and an unwillingness to compromise with a global majority. Decades of privilege have culminated in dangerous levels of hubris and heedlessness. Western prestige and dignity has been foolishly squandered in an attempt to preserve an unfair and waning rules-based order (an order premised on immoral conduct, chauvinism and capriciousness). U.S. President Joe Biden – and the West – has lost the moral high-ground. Israel, and its overlord guarantor, through genocide and ethnic-cleansing, are facilitating recruitment of an axis-of-resistance for decades into the future – this doesn’t bode well for Israel, the United States and the West. Of course, the intentional fabrication and maintenance of an enemy perpetuates an economic and ideological foundation predicated on belligerence, imperialism and weapons profiteering – this irrationality is ominous for humanity.

  2. Cure E Us

    2023-12-20 at 01:26

    United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said:
    “America’s support for Israel’s security is unshakable.” He added, “Hamas committed atrocities during its attack on Israel. It is a continuation of its professed goals: the killing of Jews and the elimination of the Jewish state. No country should tolerate such a danger.”
    Yes, Hamas committed atrocities during its attack on Israel; but, why doesn’t the Secretary of Defense mention Israel’s atrocities? Lloyd Austin also said, “It is a continuation of its professed goals: the killing of Jews and the elimination of the Jewish state.” Why didn’t Mr. Austin mention the professed goal of Israel: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forged an emergency government on Wednesday to direct war against Hamas, and his defense minister vowed to wipe the Palestinian militant group “off the face of the earth” over its deadly weekend attack. #
    Mr. Austin refereed to the “Jewish State.” Why didn’t he mention the Palestinian state? Just how was Israel’s so-called “State”established? He may have deliberately omitted this important detail because Israel (stole) Palestinian land to establish the state of Israel: The draconian law used by Israel to steal Palestinian land: #

    Hamas said it was retaliating for hundreds of Israeli settlers who three days earlier had stormed the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem/al-Quds, the third holiest site in Islam.  Ultranationalist Jews want to rebuild the Roman-era Jewish temple, destroyed around 70 AD,  on the mosque’s site.  #
    So the IDF desecrates a Palestinian site for religious worship (al-Aqsa mosque), essentially subjugates the Palestinians (severely restricting human rights) in the worlds largest open air prison, and is now indiscriminately bombing infrastructure and annihilating Gasa’s population. What would you do?

    Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, used similarly dehumanizing language in his official declaration of war on Monday, describing “an abominable enemy, human beasts who celebrate the murder of women, children and the elderly.” # Isn’t Israel – through their bombing campaign – murdering women, children and the elderly? Why doesn’t Mr. Austin mention this? He is obviously biased. But why?

    “When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land seizures or employs excessive use of force against Palestinians, we must communicate publicly that this goes against our [US] values so that Israel does not act with impunity.”  #
    It appears as if Israel’s support for violence against the Palestinians will be returned in kind. Israel’s future seems precarious. Also, where can I find a list of these so-called U.S. values? It seems as if United States values have nothing to do with humanity, unless the context of humanity promotes U.S. Corporate-American agenda, and everything to do with preserving a bigoted rules-based global order.

  3. Eric Arthur Blair

    2023-12-20 at 09:00

    Pepe Escobar has an intriguing take on the cynical, despicable ZioNazi motives for the current Gaza genocide/mass slaughter, armed and funded by the YankeeNazis.
    Notwithstanding Jake the snake’s infamous declaration earlier this year that “the middle east has never been more peaceful”, it turns out that the ZioYanks were long searching for a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 type excuse to launch a Nakba2 on Gaza. There were longstanding congruent motives for the self chosen Chosen People, and the self declared Exceptional Indispensibles, to forcibly expel all Palestinians from Gaza. In a nutshell:
    1: Israel wanted to seize all the massive offshore natural gas assets that Palestinian Gazans would otherwise have a legitimate claim to.
    2: Nakba2 would enable the ZioYanks to construct, without interference, a BenGurion canal from the Red Sea to just north of Gaza which would enable them to bypass Suez which is controlled by Egypt.
    3: That canal would further facilitate the IMEC corridor pushed by the USA which is meant to rival the West Asia portion of China’s BRI.
    What evidence was there that the ZioYanks allowed, perhaps even aided and abetted Hamas on 7 October?
    1: There was a White House meeting on 20
    September between Nuthin’Yahoo and Biden’s puppeteers, discussing intercepted chatter in the Gaza dialect which indicated that Hamas was planning an imminent incursion. But they all did nuthin’.
    2: On 7 October itself when the attack occurred, there was a stand down order from Nuthin’Yahoo to the IDF to do nuthin’ for 7 hours.
    One could argue that the now proven murder of Israeli hostages and music festival goers by the IDF also added a false flag dimension to it, which the ZionNazis tried to blame on Hamas.
    Time will tell if Escobar’s view proves correct but he certainly has an extremely compelling argument.
    Yet one more reason why Escobar is considered one of the world’s top investigative journalists, putting the LEMSO* stenographers to shame.

    *Lying Establishment Media Sewer Outlets

    • JonnyJames

      2023-12-21 at 11:32

      Thanks for the Pepe Escobar link Eric. I agree, Pepe is one of the best of the best. His breadth of knowledge is incredible. He must be extraordinarily gifted, since profs Desai and Hudson have him as a guest. He brings up very important points that few are aware of. And: he speaks and writes English better than most native speakers.

      Also, the Australian journalist Caitlin Johnstone has been on fire lately, writing about the conflict as well as other issues. She also speaks out for Julian Assange, which few fellow Aussies have the courage to do.

      • Eric Arthur Blair

        2023-12-22 at 15:03

        Caitlin Johnstone = the conscience of Australia.
        Julian Assange (another Australian) = the conscience of the world.
        Both are hated by the US deep state.

  4. Cure E Us

    2023-12-20 at 13:36

    For more than 73 years, Israel has been forcibly displacing entire Palestinian communities. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians’ homes have been demolished, causing terrible trauma & suffering. More than 6 million Palestinians remain refugees, the vast majority of whom live in refugee camps including outside of Israel/OPT.  There are over 100,000 Palestinians in the OPT and another 68,000 inside of Israel at imminent risk of losing their homes, many for the second or third time.
    Palestinians are caught in a Catch-22 situation. Israel requires them to obtain a permit to build or even erect a structure such as a tent, but – unlike Jewish Israeli applicants – rarely issues them a permit. Many Palestinians are forced to build without permits. Israel then demolishes Palestinian homes on the basis that they were built “illegally”. Israel uses these discriminatory planning and zoning policies to create unbearable living conditions to force Palestinians to leave their homes to allow for the expansion of Jewish settlement.

    Here are the latest casualty figures as of December 19, 2023 – 3:00pm local time in Gaza (13:00 GMT): Gaza Killed: At least 19,667, including at least: 7,729 children, 5,123 women; Injured: More than 52,586, including at least: 8,663 children , 6,327 women; Missing: More than 8,000.
    The latest figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the occupied West Bank are as follows: Occupied West Bank: Killed: At least 301, including at least: 72 children, Injured: More than 3,365. In Israel, officials revised the death toll from 1,405 to 1,139. Israel: Killed: About 1,139, Injured: At least 8,730.

    I once read that the Nazis were histories cruelest conquerors; however, I’m discerning that Israel’s system of brutality, subterfuge and treachery (sponsored by the United States of America) may be on the threshold of supplanting Nazi atrocities.

    Israel’s ghastly system of domination, and exploiting Palestinians as: human laboratory rats for Israeli military intelligence services and arms and technology industries, must immediately stop:

  5. JonnyJames

    2023-12-21 at 11:11

    The global majority must view the US as a truly evil nation, rivaling the worst in history. After all, we always “elect” mass-murdering, racist, elitist, far-right authoritarian assholes.

    Since the Unified Hegemonic Narrative claims the US is the exceptional, indispensable nation and the world’s greatest democracy, people believe that we “elect” our leaders. Of course, the US is an empire run by a bloodthirsty, abusive, lawless oligarchy. The fact that two criminal, geriatric serial-liars are up for “election” should be viewed as a kick in the face, not a “democratic” choice.

    But the perception is that we “elect” these sociopaths. Rhetorical question: are Americans evil because we “elect” the most evil kakistocrats possible? Or: a nation of ignorant, misinformed, electronically-lobotomized zombies? Or are we a captive audience, manipulated and ruled by a Neo-Feudal Techno-Totalitarian oligarchy?

    • Eric Arthur Blair

      2023-12-22 at 14:57

      Non-rhetorical answer:
      Are Americans evil? Yes.
      Ignorant? Yes.
      Manipulated? Yes.
      There are also good Americans.
      All can be true at the same time for a nation of 330 million people.
      Here is a (slightly modified) version of my comment below my article:

      America is not a monolith, it consists of:
      1. AmeriCANs who are a tiny minority (of the US population) striving for truth and a better world.
      2. AmeriCANTs who are the vast majority of hapless, clueless citizens who lack agency and are dreadfully suffering under a rapacious Kleptocracy…… and there are
      3. AmeriCUNTs, the tiny minority of psychopathic Neoconartists and their ilk. They are like the ant brain fungus Ophiocordyceps or rat brain parasite Toxoplasma that cause their hosts to engage in suicidal behavior to benefit the said parasite.

      For the world (which includes Americans) to survive, it is absolutely necessary to get rid of the Americunts.

      • JonnyJames

        2023-12-27 at 14:46

        Yes, I agree, as usual Eric – good points. Thanks Cure E US for the good comments as well. And thanks to Ben and GE for putting this all together, May you all prosper in the new year.

        • Cure E Us

          2023-12-28 at 20:17

          You are very welcome, JonnyJames. Thank you for your good wishes (and returned to you); and, if at all possible, may the nefarious cloaked cabal recover from their delusions of global dominance.

  6. Cure E Us

    2023-12-24 at 14:24

    Thank you (geopoliticaleconomy) for helping to enlighten the world through your essential discourse; for supporting a platform for self-expression; and for championing the rights of peoples negatively impacted by contemporary capitalist globalization.

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