Insight Iraq

In-Depth News & Views

Lancet letter falsely inflates Gazan civilian fatalities to 186,000
Israel News

Lancet letter falsely inflates Gazan civilian fatalities to 186,000

Prominently placing the figure 186,000 in the letter implies that Israel was responsible for these deaths, although they denote ‘deaths’ that have not even happened.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

In a letter published in the legendary Lancet Journal, authors argued that “indirect” deaths in Gaza may be as high as 186,000 before claiming that their statement was simply meant to illustrate a point.

The wildly exaggerated 186,000 figure was circulated on social media and shared by many anti-Israel voices, including UN Rapporteur Francesca Albanese, who has a history of making false and defamatory statements against Israel.

The letter’s authors were Rasha Khatib, Martin McKee, and Salim Yusuf.

Rasha Khatib has often praised Palestinian terrorism and called Hamas’s brutal acts an “inevitable response to the occupation.”

The letter was titled, “Counting the dead in Gaza: difficult but essential,” and began with the Hamas Health Ministry number of 37,396 casualties. This figure has been reported often in the media but never independently verified.

This is how false info spreads:

1. @TheLancet publishes claims of 186,000 deaths in Gaza.
2. Media republish the false figure, ignoring the author's prior justification of terrorism.
3. Israel is blamed for countless deaths that didn't happen. pic.twitter.com/Czc9daYP7m

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) July 8, 2024

the letter then asserts that the real number of Gazan casualties is 15 times higher than 37,396 because they insist on counting “indirect deaths.”

It continues, “It is not implausible to estimate that up to 186,000 or even more deaths could be attributable to the current conflict in Gaza.”

“Using the 2022 Gaza Strip population estimate of 2,375,259, this would translate to 7·9% of the total population in the Gaza Strip,” the letter concludes.

Prominently placing the figure 186,000 in the letter seems intended to imply that Israel was responsible for these deaths, although they were mere speculation and not real casualty numbers.

In addition, as pointed out by Honest Reporting, the “indirect deaths” are due to conditions created by the war and not by actual aggression or killing by the other side.

Several days after the letter was shared on social media, one of the authors, Martin McKee, wrote that he intended the figures to be “purely illustrative” and that “our piece has been greatly misquoted and misinterpreted.”

However, none of the authors have retracted the piece or the figures quoted.

The post Lancet letter falsely inflates Gazan civilian fatalities to 186,000 appeared first on World Israel News.