WHO Just Declared 10,000 “Unidentified” Casualties They Haven’t Yet Found

WHO Just Declared 10,000 “Unidentified” Casualties They Haven’t Yet Found

As part of its explanation of why fatality data published by Hamas-run offices overcounted Gazan fatality figures by nearly 100%, the United Nations told JNS that the “fog of war” was to blame and later said that some 10,000 newly classified “unidentified” casualties accounted for discrepancies in the counts.

Christian Lindmeier, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, said during a press briefing on Tuesday that many of the 10,158 “unidentified” Gazan corpses aren’t in Hamas’s possession and likely haven’t been counted physically.

“The numbers are huge,” he said. “People are under the rubble, dead in mass graves, somewhere out there on the side of the road—couldn’t get picked up in a conflict area, in a so-called safe zone, but yet still not reachable because there is firing going on—as long as all this is happening, there are still people out there who can’t be identified … this accounts for the 10,000 the health ministry talks about as not yet identified.”

Lindmeier’s statement raises questions about Hamas’s method of accounting for Gazan fatalities.

The United Nations, citing Hamas’s health ministry, had been regularly noting a separate category—“under the rubble or missing”—in its Gazan casualty updates. It specifically noted that the category is not included in the fatality tolls.

Lindmeier initially said on Tuesday that people “under the rubble” were already among the 10,000 or so categorized as “unidentified” fatalities.

Based on that statement, the World Health Organization—an agency of the United Nations—appears to include those “under the rubble” in its listing of “unidentified” fatalities. If that is indeed how the organization tallies the dead in this instance, the United Nations would appear to double count thousands of alleged fatalities—both as “unidentified” and as “missing” or beneath rubble.

Moments later, Lindmeier appeared to contradict himself.

The World Health Organization spokesman said that approximately 8,000 people cited by the Hamas health ministry as being “under the rubble somewhere, missing” are indeed in a separate category from the “unidentified.”

Jens Laerke, spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, also spoke at the press conference about the 10,000 “unidentified” fatalities. The OCHA spokesman said that the 10,000 “are dead. Then there are additional thousands of people. They remain missing under rubble.”

Hamas recently changed its statistics of Gazan casualties, separating those who are “identified” and those who are “unidentified.” The former category is now subdivided into women, children, men and the elderly.

JNS reported that the number of “unidentified” dead women and children exceeds the total number of “unidentified” fatalities.

A U.N. spokesman told JNS last week at a press briefing that the “fog of war” was to blame for Hamas’s inaccurate totals and subsequent recategorization. He told reporters the following day that the figures were accurate.

Hamas, which the United States has designated as a terror organization for more than 25 years, has long been criticized for fabricating data, which governments, international courts, nonprofits and others have cited repeatedly.

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