Losses in the Hamas-Israel War – Day 111

I have not blogged much about the Hamas-Israeli War since the first couple of days of the war (for example, see: Hamas-Israeli War – Day 3 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)). On Monday, 22 January, 24 Israeli soldiers were killed in one day. Twenty-one were killed in a single blast that collapsed two buildings. Previously, on October 31, 16 Israeli soldiers were killed, 11 in a single incident when an armored personnel carrier was hit. 

Total losses for the Israeli armed forces during the offensive into Gaza is 219 (as of 22 January). See: 24 soldiers killed on deadliest day for Israeli forces in Gaza combat | CNN. Wikipedia is reporting a total of 627 service members killed, 556 soldiers, 61 police and 10 “Shin Bet” personnel. Many of those were among the 1,200 killed on 7 October. See: Authorities name 556 soldiers, 60 police officers killed in Gaza war | The Times of Israel.

Just for comparison, Israeli losses in the 1956 War were 172 killed, their losses in the 1967 war were 776-983 killed, their losses in the 1973 War were 2,521 to 2,800 killed, their losses in the 1982-85 intervention in Lebanon were 654 killed, their losses were 559 killed (256 in combat) in the 1985-2000 Southern Lebanese Conflict (vs Hezbollah) and they lost 121 killed in the 2006 Lebanon War (also vs Hezbollah). The Gaza War (2008-2009) lasted 23 days and resulted in 10 Israeli soldiers killed (and 3 civilians). The 2014 Gaza War lasted 50 days and resulted in 67 Israeli soldiers killed (and 6 civilians).

Hamas’ actual losses are harder to gauge. Israel is claiming that they have killed about 9,000 Hamas fighters in Gaza along with more than 1,000 killed during the attacks on 7 October. The U.S. is recently saying they have been attritted by 20-30%. Just to complicate such calculations, it is uncertain what Hamas’ strength originally was. U.S. intelligence estimates Hamas strength at between 25,000 to 30,000 before the war, plus thousands of police and other forces. Israel estimates Hamas at 30,000 or more.

Israel is estimating that as many at 16,000 Hamas have been wounded. The U.S. estimates between 10,500 to 11,700 wounded. This produces some unusually low wounded-to-killed ratios. Israel as reported three days ago to have 190 killed and around 1,200 wounded in their offensive operations, producing a 6.32-to-1 wounded-to-killed ratio. See: Hamas Toll Thus Far Falls Short of Israel’s War Aims, U.S. Says (msn.com).

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry has said that the total number of Palestinians killed since October 7 is 25,295 (as of 22 January). It is hard to know how accurate these figures are, but MSNBC has made the argument that in the past the Gaza Health Ministry has provided accurate estimates: Casualties in the Hamas-Israeli War | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). Regardless, it does seem that a significant percent of the losses are civilians and that civilian killed number in the thousands. With over 40% of the population being under 14 or younger, then over half of those civilians were not of voting age when Hamas was first elected to lead Gaza in 2006 (and it was their last election: see 2006 Palestinian legislative election – Wikipedia). This is just noted in case someone wants to make an argument that these civilians deserve what they are getting. There has also been hundreds of thousands of civilians forced to relocate, and there are not a lot of good places to relocated to in Gaza.

Israel lost over 1,200 killed on 7 October. This included around 799 civilians and a large number of military, reservists, police, etc. Total Israeli civilians killed since the start of this war is 809 (according to Wikipedia). Over 250 civilians have been taken hostage (253 according to Wikipedia), of which 110 have been rescued or released and 38 are confirmed to now be dead (at least three killed by Israel). This leaves over 100 who may be still in captivity. Some of them have probably died (according to Wikipedia there are 107 living captives and 29 dead bodies while CNN reports 104 living and 28 dead bodies).

The U.S., in operations against the Houthis in Yemen, have lost two special forces soldiers. Houthi losses are fairly limited (10 according to Wikipedia).

There is no good solution here. I was of the opinion that the most rational result would have been for Israel to invade Gaza for two weeks, negotiate a hostage release, declare victory and pull out. For lots of reasons, this did not happen. So, the war continues past day 111, with the 800 Israeli civilians killed on 7 October being overshadowed by the thousands of civilian deaths in Gaza. Hamas is slowly winning the propaganda war.

Note the opinion of U.S. 18-24 years olds or “under 35” in various recent polls: Quinnipiac poll shows Israel-Palestine divide across generations, parties – POLITICO and Vast majority of voters back Israel over Hamas: Poll (msn.com).

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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.

3 thoughts on “Losses in the Hamas-Israel War – Day 111

  1. You have to bear in mind that Palestinian claims are usually highly falsified. Many of those classified as child deaths turn out to be late teenagers fighting for Hamas.

  2. Rather than characterizing this as being a case of Gaza civilians getting what they deserve, one might characterize the case as being similar to what happened when some German voters (similar to the 40% or so of Gazan voters who had voted for Hamas prior to Hamas becoming the ruling party through violence?) put the Nazi Party into a position from which they took the reigns of power in Germany and then everyone (whatever their political persuasion) suffered when other nations violently countered the cross-border aggressions by the military instruments of the Nazi Party.

    All of the Germans were going to suffer the consequences unless they overthrew the Nazi Party — no easy task. Same for those residing in Gaza. Whether responsible or not for Hamas being in a position to attack others, the current residents of Gaza are responsible for choosing whether or not to confront Hamas (having to choose whether to suffer casualties as fighters and as family members of fighters against Hamas or as civilian casualties during a war with Israel or possibly as loving martyrs engaged in spiritual warfare against the supernatural forces inspiring Hamas). Caught between a rock and a hard place — welcome to a fallen world.

    Even the argument over what land is whose land isn’t dissimilar, Are land claims based on who won various wars at various times going to be the means for deciding the matter? How about claims concerning how long various populations have been on certain pieces of land? Interestingly, the DNA makeup of Arabs currently residing in Palestine and of Jews residing throughout the world has been shown to have about 50% of the DNA distinctives of the Canaanites from around the time of the Hebrew invasion of what is now Palestine.

    Fighting for land has been producing casualties for a long time in what is referred to as Palestine, but clearly there also have been times of making love and not war (or times of combining copulating and combating, or times when the two ethnic groups were one group that included Ur of the Chaldees).
    Going from Old Covenant times to New Covenant times, in conclusion, the following words by James (the half-brother of Jesus of Nazareth) come to mind:

    “What is the source of conflict among you? What is the source of your disputes? Don’t they come from your cravings that are at war in your own lives? You long for something you don’t have, so you commit murder. You are jealous for something you can’t get, so you struggle and fight. You don’t have because you don’t ask. You ask and don’t have because you ask with evil intentions, to waste it on your own cravings.” [James 4:1-3]

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