Casualties in the Hamas-Israeli War

There is an MSNBC news clip about casualties in the Hamas-Israeli War that is worth noting: Counting the casualties in an active warzone – YouTube

I may comment on it at some point, but just wanted to bring it to people’s attention for now.

What is does say:

  1. More than 20,000 people have died in Gaza according to Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.
  2. 1,200 people have died in Israel.
  3. Israel says that 470 soldiers have been killed.
  4. Hamas took about 250 hostages. Around 129 remain in Gaza.
  5. Israel says 22 hostages have been killed.

Deaths in past Gaza conflicts:

               Israeli      Gaza Health

               Military    Ministry

2009       1,116       1,440

2014       2,125       2,310

 

It has been suggested that two Palestinian civilians are being killed for every one Hamas fighter killed. If true, this would mean:

  1. 6,667 Hama fighters killed.
  2. 13,333 civilians killed.

I do have some doubts about these estimates.

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About Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience. ... Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation. ... His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024). ... Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

8 thoughts on “Casualties in the Hamas-Israeli War

    • I think the argument is that the Gaza Health Ministry provided valid counts in 2009 and 2014 (at least according to a comparison with the Israeli Military accounting), therefore….

      Is there any other source of data on casualties in Gaza?

      • C.A.L: “I think the argument is that the Gaza Health Ministry provided valid counts in 2009 and 2014 (at least according to a comparison with the Israeli Military accounting), therefore…”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jenin_(2002)

        “…On April 7, senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat suggested to CNN that some 500 Palestinians had been killed in the camp. Five days later, when the fighting stopped, PA Secretary Ahmed Abdel Rahman told UPI that the number was in the thousands. Stories of hundreds of civilians being killed in their homes as they were demolished spread throughout international media. Subsequent investigations found no evidence to substantiate claims of a massacre, and official totals from Palestinian and Israeli sources confirmed between 52 and 54 Palestinians, including civilians, and 23 IDF soldiers as having been killed in the fighting…”

        Not on topic, but might be of interest:
        https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/what-war-games-really-reveal#:~:text=War%20games%20reveal%20what%20states,uniquely%20effective%20forms%20of%20persuasion.

        “It would be harder for organizers to manipulate war games if the press and the public better understood them. That means asking the right questions about the games’ outcomes, including how the players arrived at those outcomes. Who is paying for and convening the game? What are their motivations for running the game? Who is playing the game? What assumptions and rules are embedded in the game? Are details of the game being leaked, publicized, or disseminated in a way that could benefit the sponsors? Asking and answering such questions does not nullify the utility of a game’s findings; instead, it provides necessary context for interpreting them…”

        -I can’t argue with that, although I suppose someone could write an article titled “What Articles in Foreign Affairs Really Reveal…

        • On topic: This is a tough one, as I don’t think there are any other alternate sources. Do we assume Health Ministry is correct (21,110+), or is only 10% correct (which is still over 2,000 deaths); or is completely false (0 deaths)? There are a lot of buildings hit and buildings destroyed. Hard to believe it is zero deaths.

        • Off topic: Read the article. There are many types of wargames that serve many different functions. The writer is lumping a lot of things together. We have a lot of blog posts on wargaming: https://www.dupuyinstitute.org/blog/category/wargaming/

          Now, we have discussed independently doing a detailed analysis of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. If done, this would be public. What is holding us back from doing anything is a lack of budget. We are trying to correct that.

    • I thought a terrorist organization’s main weapon was terror. Now you’re saying terrorists are like western government and corporate public relations offices?

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