Pro-Palestine Telegram channels shared English language translations of a report from Palestine’s Ministry of Health today on the death toll in the Gaza Strip from Israeli bombardment since Oct. 7.
Resistance News Network, one pro-Palestine Telegram channel, released an English translation of the statement accompanying the report from the Ministry of Health.
“The American administration has stripped itself of all standards, humanitarian ethics, and basic human rights values to speak in the tongue of the criminal occupier and brazenly question the authenticity of the announced figures,” read the statement.
“We have decided to come out and announce in detail, with names, and in front of the whole world the reality of the genocidal war committed by the ‘israeli’ occupation against our people in front of the world’s sight and hearing since the seventh of October.”
President Joe Biden said at a press conference on Wednesday that he didn’t believe the death tolls being released by Palestine.
“What they say to me is I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed. I’m sure innocents have been killed, and it’s the price of waging a war,” Biden said, reported Reuters.
The 212-page document from the Palestinean Ministry of Health, which is in Arabic, lists 7,028 people killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli air strikes.
“Behind every number is the story of a person with a known name and identity,” wrote the Palestinian Ministry of Health in a statement on its website accompanying the report. “Our people are not repetitions that can be ignored.”
The report includes deaths in the Gaza Strip from Oct. 7 to Oct. 26 as of 3:00pm local time.
According to a summary of the report in the beginning of the document, the total number of dead is now 7,028 people, including 2,913 children. The total doesn’t include suspected dead still buried under rubble or those who were buried before being officially registered at a hospital.
Deaths peaked on the Oct. 24, according to the report, with 756 mortalities recorded in that single day. According to a chart in the report, an average of 209 children were being killed every day.
The numbers couldn’t be independently verified by the Daily Dot.
Pro-Israel channels on Telegram have questioned numbers from the Ministry of Health and accused it of being controlled by Hamas.
“We won’t know the reality of Gaza until Hamas is out. They control the media, the health ministry… everything,” said one poster on the 2ndYomKippurWar channel.
The ministry is “officially controlled by Gaza and known to exaggerate deaths,” said another.
That’s a position the U.S. government has officially taken too.
“We all know that the Gazan Ministry of Health is just a front for Hamas,” said John Kirby, the Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council, at a press conference today. “It’s run by Hamas, a terrorist organization … we can’t take anything coming out of Hamas … at face value.” Kirby didn’t offer any evidence to back up the idea that the health ministry’s numbers were inaccurate.
And not everybody dismisses the numbers either
A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report published on Oct. 20 cites the Palestinian Health Ministry’s casualty number. CRS is a nonpartisan information service that compiles information for legislators in the Congress.
“Everyone uses the figures from the Gaza Health Ministry because those are generally proven to be reliable,” Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch, told the Washington Post. “In the times in which we have done our own verification of numbers for particular strikes, I’m not aware of any time which there’s been some major discrepancy.”