"The Gaza ministry is releasing fake daily numbers," he says

A Professor of Statistics dismantles the casualty figures in Gaza issued by Hamas

I have been warning for some time that a terrorist organization is not a reliable source when it comes to knowing actual casualties in a war.

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That applies both to a terrorist regime like the Kremlin and to Hamas, the criminal group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2006. Criminals willing to murder, torture and rape women and girls, as they did Hamas terrorists in their savage anti-Jewish pogrom of October 7, 2023, should not have any qualms about lying, unless someone considers that deceiving public opinion is more serious than massacring hundreds of Jews.

Inexplicably, for months now many politicians, institutions and media outlets from various countries have been accepting the casualty figures published by the "Gaza Ministry of Health", that is, by Hamas, which is the one who controls the government of that territory. As if the figures published by Hamas were not already questionable due to their origin, Abraham Wyner, Professor of Statistics and Data Science at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has published a complete article analyzing those figures. The article reviews in detail the death tolls released by Hamas and observes this curious regularity in the casualty reports:

Wyner points out:

This regularity is almost surely not real. One would expect quite a bit of variation day to day. In fact, the daily reported casualty count over this period averages 270 plus or minus about 15%. This is strikingly little variation. There should be days with twice the average or more and others with half or less. Perhaps what is happening is the Gaza ministry is releasing fake daily numbers that vary too little because they do not have a clear understanding of the behavior of naturally occurring numbers. Unfortunately, verified control data is not available to formally test this conclusion, but the details of the daily counts render the numbers suspicious.

Furthermore, the author of this study makes an observation that many overlook:

The fog of war is especially thick in Gaza, making it impossible to quickly determine civilian death totals with any accuracy. Not only do official Palestinian death counts fail to differentiate soldiers from children, but Hamas also blames all deaths on Israel even if caused by Hamas’ own misfired rockets, accidental explosions, deliberate killings, or internal battles.

You can read the full article here.


Photo: Reuters. Hamas terrorists with their heads covered with balaclavas.

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