16 votes

Weekly Israel-Hamas war megathread - week of May 13

This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant Israel-Hamas war content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

Please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

18 comments

  1. [8]
    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link
    U.N. Lowers Count of Women and Children Killed, Citing Incomplete Information (New York Times) … Looking at the reports themselves, the previous report didn’t have any count for “men” or for...

    U.N. Lowers Count of Women and Children Killed, Citing Incomplete Information (New York Times)

    The United Nations has begun citing a much lower death toll for women and children in Gaza, acknowledging that it has incomplete information about many of the people killed during Israel’s military offensive in the territory.

    As recently as May 6, the U.N’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in its regularly updated online report that at least 9,500 women and 14,500 children were among the dead, out of an overall death toll of 34,735.

    Two days later, the U.N. said in another online update that 4,959 women, 7,797 children and 10,006 men had been killed. While the total number of deaths remained roughly the same, a U.N. official said that it was awaiting more identifying information from officials in Gaza for about 10,000 of the dead, so they were not included in the new breakdown of women, men and children.

    The change in the U.N.’s numbers — and the confusion over the discrepancy — has added fuel to a debate over the credibility of the Gazan authorities’ tallies of fatalities in the war. The deaths of women and children are seen as an important, if incomplete, indication of how many civilians have been killed, a question that lies at the heart of the criticism of Israel’s conduct of the war.

    The change came because the United Nations switched to citing a more conservative source for its numbers — the Gazan Ministry of Health — rather than using Gaza’s Government Media Office, as it had in recent weeks. Both offices are part of the Hamas-run government in the enclave.

    The health ministry says its count of women and children killed is based on the total number of people whose identities it can fully verify — 24,840 individuals in all as of May 13.

    More than 10,000 other people have also been killed, the health ministry says, but it does not have their full names, official ID numbers or other information it needs to be certain of their identities. That is why they are not included in the breakdown of women and children killed that is now being cited by the U.N., officials said.

    Looking at the reports themselves, the previous report didn’t have any count for “men” or for “unknown,” so if you tried to calculate “men” yourself by subtracting out women and children then you would get it wrong. So the new report is a definite improvement. They calculate percentages for you, excluding the unknown deaths from the denominator.

    It’s a very wonky update to make some infographics better, but of course everything about this is politically fraught, because of what the infographics are about.

    12 votes
    1. [7]
      Melvincible
      Link Parent
      I find this headline a bit misleading. The total number of deaths hasn't changed. What has changed is that they've positively identified a certain number of people in each category. There might...

      I find this headline a bit misleading. The total number of deaths hasn't changed. What has changed is that they've positively identified a certain number of people in each category. There might very well be (and probably are) the same number or higher in each category as before. They are just showing us confirmed numbers with the unknowns separated out, instead of the unknowns being put into a category based on guessing. The title leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

      I agree with your comment and that this is an improved way of looking at this information, and I'm glad it's being looked at and talked about. It just feels like the headline wants people to get the impression it's "not as bad as we thought" which I find a harmful thing to imply.

      9 votes
      1. skybrian
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I think it could be summarized as "we know a bit less than we thought." That is, depending on what you thought before about where the data came from and how much you trusted those particular...

        I think it could be summarized as "we know a bit less than we thought." That is, depending on what you thought before about where the data came from and how much you trusted those particular stats. But I doubt this is much of an update for most people.

        I'm inclined to give the headline a pass. It's pretty factual and it's hard to prevent all possible misreads.

        5 votes
      2. [5]
        gary
        Link Parent
        Or lower. Your "probably" is based on nothing. We just don't know. What we do know is that the UN has changed the proportion of casualties and in the new breakdown, more men have died than in the...

        There might very well be (and probably are) the same number or higher in each category as before.

        Or lower. Your "probably" is based on nothing. We just don't know. What we do know is that the UN has changed the proportion of casualties and in the new breakdown, more men have died than in the old breakdown. But it could very well be that more women and children have died recently than in the beginning of the war, so it may end up the same like you're saying, but we just don't have enough information right now.

        9 votes
        1. [4]
          Melvincible
          Link Parent
          It's based on there being thousands of people missing but not yet declared dead. Hands can't move the heaviest rubble and they don't have tools to do it. We don't really need much more information...

          It's based on there being thousands of people missing but not yet declared dead. Hands can't move the heaviest rubble and they don't have tools to do it. We don't really need much more information to deduce accurately that people who are still missing are likely to be dead. That is a high probability, and not based on "nothing".

          6 votes
          1. [3]
            gary
            Link Parent
            In the new numbers, men are dying at 2x the rate women are. If you apply the 2x rate to the old numbers, you would see it couldn't be possible. Therefore, if you assume the new numbers are more...

            In the new numbers, men are dying at 2x the rate women are. If you apply the 2x rate to the old numbers, you would see it couldn't be possible. Therefore, if you assume the new numbers are more accurate, then it's likely women were over counted in the old numbers. Unless the distribution has changed a lot recently, which is why I'm saying we can't know.

            Do the math.

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              Melvincible
              Link Parent
              The "new numbers" are working the same grand total or ~35k. That 35k does not include the thousands of people still under rubble, the unknown number of people in mass graves, or the people dying...

              The "new numbers" are working the same grand total or ~35k. That 35k does not include the thousands of people still under rubble, the unknown number of people in mass graves, or the people dying from disease and malnutrition. It eventually will. When the big number goes up, which it will, the numbers in all the categories go up.

              4 votes
              1. gary
                Link Parent
                Nothing in your original comment was clear about discussing numbers in the context of a greater than 35k denominator. If you want to compare to all deaths, reported and unreported, then you are...

                Nothing in your original comment was clear about discussing numbers in the context of a greater than 35k denominator. If you want to compare to all deaths, reported and unreported, then you are not comparing like for like which is the point of the change in the UN numbers being reported. In which case why are you even discussing these UN numbers? It shouldn't matter to you then if 9k women died (old numbers) or 4.5k women died (new numbers) since there's an unknown amount that adds up to neither of those.

                5 votes
  2. [5]
    Halfloaf
    Link
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/13/total-outrage-white-house-condemns-israeli-settlers-attack-on-gaza-aid-convoy ‘Total outrage’: White House condemns Israeli settlers’ attack...

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/13/total-outrage-white-house-condemns-israeli-settlers-attack-on-gaza-aid-convoy

    ‘Total outrage’: White House condemns Israeli settlers’ attack on Gaza aid trucks

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      PigeonDubois
      Link Parent
      This is infuriating and unbelievable to see. What is going through the heads of these people to make them think doing something like this is ok?

      This is infuriating and unbelievable to see. What is going through the heads of these people to make them think doing something like this is ok?

      7 votes
      1. MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        "These supplies will give succor to the people who attacked our people." Doesn't matter that it's inaccurate, doesn't matter that it's wrong. "This is a thing I can do to strike those who struck...

        "These supplies will give succor to the people who attacked our people."

        Doesn't matter that it's inaccurate, doesn't matter that it's wrong.

        "This is a thing I can do to strike those who struck us."

        Is that not relatable, even if it's not how we'd want people to be?

        6 votes
      2. Felicity
        Link Parent
        I'm very very surprised that word about this kind of behaviour isn't spreading more. Ever since the start of the war we've had people, civilians and settlers alike, attempting to prevent aid from...

        I'm very very surprised that word about this kind of behaviour isn't spreading more. Ever since the start of the war we've had people, civilians and settlers alike, attempting to prevent aid from transferring to Gaza. People genuinely believe that it is their moral duty to not allow aid to arrive until the hostages are back home.

        It's been peaceful protests for the most part so far, but the movement is more widespread than you'd think. I wouldn't be confident saying that the average person is exclusively for aid being sent, only the left leaning populace (what's left of it, at least).

        4 votes
    2. Halfloaf
      Link Parent
      I’m not really sure why the original link formatting wouldn’t work.

      I’m not really sure why the original link formatting wouldn’t work.

  3. [2]
    Tuaam
    Link
    For all the detriment this topic brings out I can certainly say it is MUCH easier discussing this topic here than it is on reddit. But perhaps that is only my experience

    For all the detriment this topic brings out I can certainly say it is MUCH easier discussing this topic here than it is on reddit. But perhaps that is only my experience

    8 votes
    1. ackables
      Link Parent
      There's no downvoting and less people, so if people disagree, they can at least get to yell at each other directly. Downvotes can just end up silencing the minority opinion in the community.

      There's no downvoting and less people, so if people disagree, they can at least get to yell at each other directly. Downvotes can just end up silencing the minority opinion in the community.

      5 votes
  4. gpl
    Link
    As Hamas returns to the north, Israel’s Gaza endgame is nowhere in sight (gift link) I truly believe there is not, and has never been, a military solution in Gaza and that the Israeli government...

    As Hamas returns to the north, Israel’s Gaza endgame is nowhere in sight (gift link)

    I truly believe there is not, and has never been, a military solution in Gaza and that the Israeli government knows it. Netanyahu knows he is cooked as soon as this war ends, and possibly sooner if the right wing faction propping his government up decides to pull out. The continuation of this war is a political choice.

    6 votes
  5. skybrian
    Link
    US military says first aid shipment has been driven across a newly built US pier into the Gaza Strip (AP) … …

    US military says first aid shipment has been driven across a newly built US pier into the Gaza Strip (AP)

    The shipment is the first in an operation that American military officials anticipate could scale up to 150 truckloads a day, all while Israel presses in on the southern city of Rafah in its 7-month offensive against Hamas.

    But the U.S. and aid groups warn that the floating pier project is not a substitute for land deliveries that could bring in all the food, water and fuel needed in Gaza. Before the war, more than 500 truckloads entered the territory on an average day.

    The operation’s success also remains tenuous because of the risk of militant attack, logistical hurdles and a growing shortage of fuel for the trucks to run due to the Israeli blockade of Gaza since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.

    Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said the issue of fuel deliveries comes up in all U.S. conversations with the Israelis. She also said the plan is to begin slowly with the sea route and ramp up the truck deliveries over time as they work the kinks out of the system.

    Israel fears Hamas will use fuel in the war, but it asserts it places no limits on the entry of humanitarian aid and blames the U.N. for delays in distributing goods entering Gaza. Under pressure from the U.S., Israel has opened a pair of crossings to deliver aid into the territory’s hard-hit north in recent weeks.

    It has said that a series of Hamas attacks on the main crossing, Kerem Shalom, have disrupted the flow of goods. The U.N. says fighting, Israeli fire and chaotic security conditions have hindered delivery. There have also been violent protests by Israelis that disrupted aid shipments.

    Already, the site has been targeted by mortar fire during its construction, and Hamas has threatened to target any foreign forces who “occupy” the Gaza Strip.

    Biden has made it clear that there will be no U.S. forces on the ground in Gaza, so third-country contractors will drive the trucks onto the shore.

    Israeli forces are in charge of security on shore, but there are also two U.S. Navy warships nearby that can protect U.S. troops and others.

    3 votes