Gaza’s Death Toll Confirmed as Accurate by Science – Time Magazine

The death count in Gaza is scientifically accurate, according to a recent report. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

According to Professor Lee Roberts, writing in Time Magazine, the death count compiled by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza is not only accurate but pretty conservative.

The numbers provided by the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza regarding war casualties are not only accurate but “pretty conservative”, according to a report published by Time magazine on Friday.

“Because the death count is compiled by the local Ministry of Health, an agency controlled by Hamas, which governs Gaza, the tally has been subject to skepticism,” the report said. 

However, “the science is extremely clear”, according to Professor Lee Roberts, an Epidemiologist and Professor Emeritus at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, who authored the report.

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Professor Roberts cites two separate assessments, “done by extremely experienced scholars at Johns Hopkins and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,” and published by the medical journal The Lancet last December.

According to the report, the John Hopkins’ analysis concluded that the numbers were accurate by looking “at internal aspects of the data like comparing hospital trend reports to the overall numbers, but also compared the death rates among U.N. employees with the overall MOH reports”.

The London School’s analysis, for its part, “concluded that it is very unlikely that there could be meaningful data fabrication”, after analyzing data that “came directly from many health facilities and morgues, and constituted most of the summary numbers later released by the MOH.”

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According to Professor Roberts, however, “the evidence supporting the Gaza MOH mortality number credibility goes beyond these two assessments.”

Cornerstone of Reality

The report stated that, in the past, the numbers provided by the Gaza MOH have proven to be reliable. 

“In past crises, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and UN reports have aligned closely with those of the MOH in spite of Israeli dismissals,” Professor Roberts wrote.

More, “in 2021, an assessment of the MOH mortality surveillance system found that the system under-reported by 13%.”

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Professor Roberts noted that even the fact that “Gaza MOH numbers combine combatants and civilians”, this “does not imply manipulation”.

“Death tolls in wars have always been political,” Professor Roberts added, stating that, however, “there may have never been a major conflict where real-time surveillance data about deaths was more complete than is unfolding in Gaza today.”

According to the report, acknowledging that “over 30,000 Gazans have died since (October 7), mostly women and children, seems like the most basic of cornerstones of reality on which to move toward constructive discussion and eventual resolution.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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