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Did the UN-OCHA Reduce Women & Children Casualties in Gaza by Half? A Fact-Check

The recent figures released by the body talk about the identified casualties figures, and not the total tally.

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WebQoof
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An image is being shared to claim that the United Nations' Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recently revised its women and children casualties figures in Gaza.

Who shared it?: The official X (formerly Twitter) handle of Israel Foreign Ministry shared the image and said, "Four days ago, @UNOCHA reduced the reported number of women and children casualties in Gaza by 50%. Interestingly, they did not release any press releases or statements, almost as if this reduction was a secret."

The recent figures released by the body talk about the identified casualties figures, and not the total tally.

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: X/Screenshot)

The post had garnered over one lakh views on the platform. More archives of similar claims can be viewed here, here, and here.

What is the truth?: The claim is misleading.

  • On 8 May, OCHA released an infographic which showed Palestinian children casualties as 7,797. However, these were the identified cases till 30 April and not the final figure.

  • Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for Secretary General also clarified that the final number of fatalities in Gaza remains unchanged. The figures released on 8 May showed the tally of fully documented cases.

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What led us to the truth?: We checked the official website of OCHA to find out the official figures released by the organisation on 8 May.

  • We found that a report which showed the total number of Palestinian casualties as of 8 May was 34,844, out of which 24,686 cases have been identified.

  • The total number of identified casualties of Palestinian women and children were 4,959 and 7,797 respectively as of 30 April.

  • The source of the tally was attributed to Ministry of Health in Gaza.

The recent figures released by the body talk about the identified casualties figures, and not the total tally.

The infographic showed number of Palestinian casualties in Gaza strip.

(Source: OCHA/Screenshot)

  • The report published on 1 May about the reported Palestinian casualties in Gaza Strip showed the total number as 34,568.

  • Figures of women casualties were over 9,500 and more than 14,500 children casualties were reported.

The recent figures released by the body talk about the identified casualties figures, and not the total tally.

The infographic was published on 1 May.

(Source: OCHA/Screenshot)

On face value, it might appear that the organisation reduced the numbers by half. However, there's something different in both infographics. While the one shared on 1 May showed the total number of casualties, the other published on 8 May talked only about the identified cases of women and children casualties.

To verify this further, we checked the latest data published by the organisation on 15 May. It, too, showed the number of identified women and children casualties.

The recent figures released by the body talk about the identified casualties figures, and not the total tally.

The report was published on 15 May.

(Source: OCHA/Screenshot)

What did the United Nations say?: In a press briefing on 13 May, deputy spokesperson Haq clarified the figures published by the OCHA on the total number of deaths reported in Gaza.

  • He said that the total number of casualties remains unchanged and it's over 35,000 since the beginning of the conflict on 7 October.

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"What’s changed is the Ministry of Health in Gaza has updated the breakdown of fatalities for whom full details have been documented. So, what they recently published was that they gave figures for 24,686 out of 34,622 overall fatalities recorded in Gaza. And those 24,686 people are the ones for whom full details have been documented — in other words, people who have been fully identified."
Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for Secretary General
  • Haq mentioned that the numbers were published by the Ministry of Health in Gaza who have identified the subset of individual bodies, including women and children.

  • The deputy spokesperson said that there are about another 10,000 plus bodies to be identified which means the figures of women and children casualties will be reestablished.

The recent figures released by the body talk about the identified casualties figures, and not the total tally.

The answer was given on 13 May.

(Source: UN Press/Screenshot)

  • Team WebQoof has reached out to the body to seek further clarification and this report will be updated as and when as a response is received.

Conclusion: While we could not independently verify these figures, it is clear that the tally shared by OCHA has more context than what is being shared on social media platforms.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9540511818 , or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Gaza   Israel-Palestine   Webqoof 

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