• Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

MEDICAL ARTICLE: A Statistical Approach to the High Mortality Rate of lsraeli Citizens Held Hostage in Gaza

Mar 20, 2024

A Statistical Approach to Hamas Killing Israeli Hostages

Joseph Mendlovic MD MHA (1,2) | Yuval Dadon MD MBA MPH (1) | Francis B. Mimouni MD (3,4)

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1) Deputy Director Office, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, lsrael
2) Department of Pediatrics, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, affiliated with the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine, Jerusalem, lsrael
3) Leumit Health Services and Research lnstitute, Tel Aviv, lsrael
4) Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, lsrael



Background: According to Hamas sources, many lsraeli hos­ tages in Gaza were killed by indiscriminate lsraeli airstrikes, together with a large number of Palestinian citizens.

Objectives: To verify whether the estimated death rate of lsraeli hostages was similar to the estimated death rate of Gaza citizens from these acts of war.

Methods: We used two estimates of hostage death rates, one obtained from lsraeli intelligence sources, and one published by a Hamas spokesperson. We used the Palestin­ ian casualty rates published by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. We compared death rates using Fisher’s exact test.

Results: By 30 December 2023, the rate of lsraeli hostage death was 23/238 (9.7%) according to lsraeli intelligence sources, and 60/238 (25.2%) according to Hamas. Both fig­ ures are strikingly and significantly higher than the death rate among Palestinians, estimated to be 19,667 /2.2 million (0.89%) by 19 December 2023 (P < 0.0001).


lsraeli airstrikes as the cause of death of ls­raeli hostages are implausible unless they were specifical­ly exposed to these strikes more than Palestinian citizens. IMAJ 2024; 26: 141-142

KEY WORDS: mortality rate, warfare, hostages, cause of death

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