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Gaza Death Numbers Are Fake



The media, led by The Associated Press and Reuters in Gaza, have continued to push the Hamas-run Health Ministry death totals — even the Biden administration up to the president has picked them up — but a Wharton professor says the numbers are a fraud.

"Here's the problem with this data: The numbers are not real,"wrote Abraham Wyner, professor of statistics and data science at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in a Wednesday article for Tablet.

"That much is obvious to anyone who understands how naturally occurring numbers work. The casualties are not overwhelmingly women and children, and the majority may be Hamas fighters," he continued.

"If Hamas' numbers are faked or fraudulent in some way, there may be evidence in the numbers themselves that can demonstrate it."

Looking at the daily graphing of the Hamas terrorist-provided numbers, there is just too much uniformity to the increases for them to be reliable, according to Wyner.

"This regularity is almost surely not real," he wrote. "One would expect quite a bit of variation day to day.

"In fact, the daily reported casualty count over this period averages 270 plus or minus about 15%. This is strikingly little variation. There should be days with twice the average or more and others with half or less.

"Perhaps what is happening is the Gaza ministry is releasing fake daily numbers that vary too little because they do not have a clear understanding of the behavior of naturally occurring numbers.

"Unfortunately, verified control data is not available to formally test this conclusion, but the details of the daily counts render the numbers suspicious."

But the Biden administration seems to buy what Hamas is sharing, as both President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have cited the Hamas numbers approaching 30,000 deaths since Oct. 7.

And the fact Hamas claims it is women and child being killed is equally unreliable, according to Wyner, who noted the daily totals track too statistically close to the total deaths claimed.

"We should see variation in the number of child casualties that tracks the variation in the number of women," Wyner wrote. "This is because the daily variation in death counts is caused by the variation in the number of strikes on residential buildings and tunnels which should result in considerable variability in the totals but less variation in the percentage of deaths across groups.

"This is a basic statistical fact about chance variability."

Also, Wyner looked at the admitted data errors that correct the following day, noting there is a statistically significant variability in error corrections when considering deaths of men versus women and children.

"The daily number of women casualties should be highly correlated with the number of non-women and non-children (i.e., men) reported," he wrote. "Again, this is expected because of the nature of battle. The ebbs and flows of the bombings and attacks by Israel should cause the daily count to move together. But that is not what the data show.

"Not only is there not a positive correlation, there is a strong negative correlation, which makes no sense at all and establishes the third piece of evidence that the numbers are not real."

He concluded: "Taken together, what does this all imply? While the evidence is not dispositive, it is highly suggestive that a process unconnected or loosely connected to reality was used to report the numbers. Most likely, the Hamas ministry settled on a daily total arbitrarily.

"We know this because the daily totals increase too consistently to be real. Then they assigned about 70% of the total to be women and children, splitting that amount randomly from day to day. Then they in-filled the number of men as set by the predetermined total. This explains all the data observed."

The revelations that UNRWA workers have ties to Hamas further exposed the faults of the data, Wyner argued.

"The truth can't yet be known and probably never will be," he concluded. "The total civilian casualty count is likely to be extremely overstated. Israel estimates that at least 12,000 fighters have been killed. If that number proves to be even reasonably accurate, then the ratio of noncombatant casualties to combatants is remarkably low: at most 1.4 to 1 and perhaps as low as 1 to 1.

"By historical standards of urban warfare, where combatants are embedded above and below into civilian population centers, this is a remarkable and successful effort to prevent unnecessary loss of life while fighting an implacable enemy that protects itself with civilians."

Read more: Wharton Professor: Gaza Death Numbers Are Fake | Newsmax.com