Biden use of Hamas death count challenged by prominent statistician, says numbers ‘aren’t accurate’

During President Biden’s State of the Union speech, he used the Gaza death count produced by the Hamas-run ministry of health, quoting some 30,000 deaths. Those numbers have been scrutinized by a renowned University of Pennsylvania statistician who has cast serious doubt on the figures.

Abraham Wyner revealed in an interview with Fox News Digital that the U.S.-designated terrorist movement, Hamas, issued fake casualty numbers in its war against Israel. Wyner is a tenured professor of statistics and data science at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and faculty co-director of the Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative.

His dramatic findings have ostensibly debunked many of the Hamas causality claims accepted at face value by President Biden’s administration, the U.N. and many major mainstream media organizations. 

Possibly furthering Wyner’s calculation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently announced that 13,000 terrorists had been killed in Gaza since the IDF went in. Wyner disputes the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry’s number that of the more than 30,000 Palestinians who have died since October 7, the majority are children and women. 

Hamas invaded southern Israel on October 7 and slaughtered 1,200 people, including over 30 Americans.

He said he ‘was able to show that these numbers aren’t right’ and, based on the number that Israel’s government is reporting, that the casualty rate ‘instead of, being 70% women and children, it’s probably closer to 30% to 35% women and children’ in the Gaza Strip.

Wyner revealed in an interview with Fox News Digital that the U.S.-designated terrorist movement, Hamas, issued fake casualty numbers in its war against Israel. 

The core of Wyner’s analysis revolves around statistical variability and correlation. He said ‘Hamas had claimed, and is continuing to claim, that approximately 70% of the casualties have been women and children. They are not reporting, or had at the time, and by mid-November, had not reported that Israel had killed any of its own fighters.’

Wyner continued, ‘But they weren’t differentiating between fighters and civilians . . . they were reporting that there were just not very many men dying. Subsequently, by February, they reported that about 25% of the casualties were their own fighters, which left a strange situation . . . there just aren’t enough civilian men dying.’

He added, ‘They’re just they’re missing. And what we call the missing male problem, which suggests that the numbers as being represented aren’t accurate.’ 

According to Wyner, ‘And so what that means is the number of people dying every day is almost the same. It isn’t changing very much, and that just didn’t make any sense to me. In war, there should be variability. Variability coming from war plans, from lulls, from intense increases in activity. And none of that was observable in the data. There was what we call too little dispersion.’

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, during a recent press briefing, was asked why Biden had quoted the Hamas numbers in an interview. ,

Jean-Pierre said, ‘What we — we have said — we’ve been really clear: There are publicly available data that showed, sadly, how many — how many deaths that we have seen in Gaza. And the President has been very clear.  There’s too much. It’s tragic. It’s tragic what we’re seeing. And the President’s going to keep — continue to speak to that.’

When approached by Fox News Digital about Wyner’s report, which was first published in March by the online magazine Tablet, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said ‘Far too many civilians have been killed in this conflict. Every civilian death in conflict is a tragedy. Deaths are not mere statistics; they’re lost futures, dreams and potential.’

The State Department did not refute Wyner’s findings. In late October, President Biden said he has ‘no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using’ for the death toll in Gaza.

However, both Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin have since January adopted the Hamas numbers as truth, only to have to walk back their statistics as coming from the jihadi terrorist entity Hamas.

Wyner does not dispute the State Department contention about the tragedy of civilian deaths, noting, ‘The ratio of casualties, civilian casualties to military casualties is in the realm of 1 to 1. And historically, that’s actually an excellent sign of intense care being placed to just target enemies and keep the civilian population as safe as possible, recognizing that war is horrible and war does produce collateral damage, as in every loss of life is tragic, but war is tragic, and war causes death.’

But he stresses that ‘The stakes are extremely high. Hamas’s only path to victory, whatever it may be, is through international pressure, namely through the United States. And the only way they can get there is to convince the United States that the civilian casualties are not coming with a commensurate military gain. And that would potentially cause Israel to be forced into a cease-fire, whether that’s permanent or temporary. That is, leaves Hamas in place.’

Wyner said about the lack of correlation in Hamas’ data, ‘The basic idea is that on days where there isn’t very much bombing, you should see just a few children and women dying. And there’s more. You should see more women and children dying on days where there’s lots of civilian casualties as opposed to fighters. You should see a few women and children, and on days where there’s lots of civilians dying, you should see lots of women and children. But that relationship wasn’t there. It was what we call uncorrelated.’ 

A spokeswoman from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA) told Fox News Digital, ‘The United Nations relies on the Health Ministry in Gaza as a source for casualties figures in that area, as it is nearly impossible at the moment to provide any UN verification on a day-to-day basis. Any of their data used in our products is clearly sourced.’

 The U.N. does not classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. 

Critics have lamented that many legacy news organizations and politicians have failed to differentiate between civilians and Hamas terrorists who were killed during the war—as well as highlight that a terrorist organization, with a reported history of fabricating death tolls, supplies the numbers.

Wyner said that the left-of-center Israeli daily Haaretz reported in 2011—two years after the 2009 Israeli operation in Gaza against Hamas terrorists—that ‘Hamas admitted that the numbers that it had been telling the public about the size of their losses, of their fighter losses, which they had reported to be 49, was actually over 700, which was exactly what Israel had said it was in the very beginning.’

He added, ‘So Israel has a good record of keeping track of the number of Hamas fighters that it kills, and Hamas doesn’t have a good record. Yet, the media was largely ignoring Israel’s claims or, when reporting them at all, noticing that they are unverifiable. Yet, the data right in front of you, coming from Hamas, showed pretty clear evidence that there is significant problems with the numbers. They don’t match reality.’ 

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