FACT CHECK: Did United Nations revise its Gaza death toll? - Ripples Nigeria
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FACT CHECK: Did United Nations revise its Gaza death toll?

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CLAIM: The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs revised its fatality figures from the war in Gaza, reducing the figure.

VERDICT: Misleading

FULL TEXT

A post on the Nigerian microblogging website, Nairaland, claims that the United Nations has reduced figures of the death toll in Gaza which it earlier published. The post which was published on Monday, claimed that the UN published different figures in its breakdown of fatalities in Gaza where the Israeli Armed forces killed some people in a war against Hamas.

It was stated in the post that the UN OCHA “revised its child fatality figure from Gaza war sharply downward, reporting more than 14,500 deaths on May 6, but then 7,797 on May 8. OCHA also revised downward its figure for women fatalities from more than 9,500 deaths to 4,959 deaths.”

The post also contained an ‘expert analysis’ which contend that the UN had “recognized the lack of evidence” behind its figures, which were allegedly supplied by the terrorist group, Hamas.

The war in the Palestinian-occupied Gaza is waged by the Israeli government against Hamas, in retaliation for an attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7, 2023. Scores of Palestinians have been killed, while calls for ceasefire by the United Nations were ignored by Israel.

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VERIFICATION

Ripples Nigeria found that the report in the Nairaland post was copied verbatim from a website, hence it was not fabricated. We also confirmed that there were two figures from the UN OCHA, but the UN did not reverse its figures; it did not say Israel had killed fewer people in Gaza. Here is the true story:

The UN OCHA, on May 8, in its infographic visualization of fatalities in Gaza referred to a figure of 34,844 as total Palestinian deaths. However, it explained that “24,686 identified as of April 30 included: 10,006 men, 4,959 women, 7,797 children, 1,924 elderly”. Then it included a note saying: “Not including more than 10,000 reported missing or under the rubble”.

So, the UN, quoting the Gaza Ministry of Health (MoH), simply stated that there were 34,844 deaths, but 24,000 plus had been identified, that is their genders and age range had been confirmed

The estimated number for the total number of people killed by Israel in Gaza and those missing under the rubble or elsewhere has never changed. The so-called “new number” of 24,686 refers only to bodies that have been identified – of those, 7,797 were children, 4,959 women and 1,924 were elderly people. More than 10,000 recovered bodies were yet to be identified.

CONCLUSION

The United Nations did not reverse its figures of casualties in Gaza. It only did a breakdown of identified bodies.

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