New Data Refute Israel ‘Genocide’ Allegations

The numbers are not consistent with claims that Israel is committing genocide

Written by Jack Elbaum

What’s happening: New data indicate that the civilian-to-combatant death ratio in Israel’s war to remove Hamas from power does not begin to approach the UN-established average. Data also show the relative risk of militants to civilians killed is not consistent with allegations of genocide.

The numbers: The Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health contends that about 25,000 Palestinians have been killed during the war. The IDF reported killing 9,000 Hamas fighters and the U.S. estimates that number to be closer to 7,000. Statistics suggest a civilian-to-combatant death ratio somewhere between 1.5-to-1 and 3-to-1.

  • Context: The United Nations estimates the global average civilian-to-combatant death ratio at 9-to-1.

  • Why this matters: Israel is being accused of genocide in the International Court of Justice, but the numbers aren’t consistent with the charge.

  • Important: The fact that Gaza is so densely populated — and outfitted with a terrorist tunnel system under almost every inch of the strip — makes the war’s civilian casualty ratio even more striking.

Additionally: A necessary precondition to a genocide would be intent to destroy the Palestinian people as such. But Israel’s air-dropping of millions of leaflets and making thousands of phone calls to Palestinian civilians warning of impending strikes suggest that Israel is targeting only Hamas.

  • A refutation: The chair of urban warfare studies at West Point’s Modern Warfare Institute recently argued that Israel “has implemented more measures to prevent civilian casualties than any other military in history.”

At the same time: A humanitarian crisis began in Gaza soon after Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack and Israel’s subsequent military operation. Millions of Gazans have been displaced, lack food, and are unable to obtain necessary medical treatment.