Asked about the extraordinarily high casualty numbers claimed by Hamas as Israel has conducted its war effort against the terrorist group. Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus asserted that the numbers given by Palestinian sources were exaggerated.
“We will expose the Hamas lie of inflated civilian casualties in Gaza, just like we have dismantled all their other lies,” he tweeted. “As every day goes by, we learn of additional Hamas combatant deaths. We will continue to fight Hamas while respecting humanitarian law.”
Interviewed by Emily Schrader of ILTV News, Conricus declared, “I think those numbers issued by the Hamas-controlled entities in Gaza are, simply put, false. They are exaggerated numbers of women, children, and the elderly. The biggest age group, the part of the demographic of Gaza that you see heavily underrepresented in the Palestinian figures, are men at the age of 17-35, which is the combat age of men. They’re not there. And it doesn’t compute with the general population of Gaza; men are at least 49% or 50% of the population yet they are very little to be found in the list of casualties; that doesn’t compute.”
“And I think what the Palestinians are trying to do, what Hamas is trying to do, is to inflate the amount of civilians killed and deflate and hide the amount of combatants killed,” he contended. “Not the first time Hamas has tried to do this.”
Hamas has been accused of lying about civilian deaths for nearly a decade.
“What we are busy doing is fact-checking and referencing dead terrorists that we are aware of and then comparing that to the list of names and numbers that Hamas has given out; finding the discrepancies and then we will be showing that to the world and again exposing another lie: of how Hamas manipulates information; how they like and try to deceive,” Conricus explained.
Conricus criticized the leaders and organizations globally who accepted the word of the terrorist group, saying, “The sad thing is that so many organizations and even decision-makers around the world take these numbers at face value as if they are true without putting them into proper context of these are numbers and figures that have been disseminated by a terror organization. These are people that lie and deceive and kill and murder for a living, and they don’t have any issues about it. So why trust the data that they give? I think it’s very sad that UN institutions, international governments around the world are taking it at face value; that needs to change and there needs to be a lot of skepticism regarding anything that is handed out by Hamas in Gaza.”
Asked if the data the IDF had gathered had given them an estimate of the civilian to combatant ratio among those killed in Gaza, Conricus answered, “When you look at other conflicts in urban terrain of the last decades, usually the ration is 1 to 10; 90% of casualties in urban terrain, sadly, are civilians. I think that the ratio here is different, and our preliminary analyses speak of thousands, three and more, thousands of dead Hamas combatants; many of them are still underground in the bunkers where they were hiding. We are talking about thousands of dead enemy combatants as opposed to the civilians that have been killed in the fighting.”
“I want to emphasize we try our best not to kill civilians; we give early warnings; we have them move out of the combat area,” he noted. “We even do roof knocking and we give warning shots and wherever feasible, we try to minimize what we call collateral damage, but basically, in plain language, killing civilians. That’s not what we’re after. We’re after Hamas. The sad situation is that Hamas uses women and children, schools, hospitals, mosques, in order to hide behind. That is why there are civilian casualties. We will continue to fight according to humanitarian law; we will continue to restrict our forces and fight only against the enemy.”
He concluded, “Against the enemy we will continue to fight very hard. That shouldn’t be confused. We will be very forceful against the enemy but we will focus our combat capabilities on the enemy alone.”
We will expose the Hamas lie of inflated civilian casualties in Gaza, just like we have dismantled all their other lies. As every day goes by, we learn of additional Hamas combatant deaths. We will continue to fight Hamas while respecting humanitarian law. Watch: https://t.co/Nza58zq3ns
— Jonathan Conricus (@jconricus) November 26, 2023