FACT CHECK: Has Israel Said It Has Only Killed 60 Hamas Operatives?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter
A post shared on X, formerly Twitter, claims Israel has said it’s only killed 60 Hamas operatives while killing thousands of Palestinians.

Verdict: Misleading

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has claimed to have gotten at least 60 Hamas commanders and routinely claim to kill dozens of Hamas terrorists in posts.

Fact Check:

Social media users have claimed that Israel has killed only 60 Hamas terrorists while killing thousands of children. One social media post claims, “Israel killed 5,000 children to kill 60 Hamas. Imagine if Hamas killed 5,000 Jewish children in order to eliminate 60 IDF soldiers. Then suddenly people will discover the word called genocide.”

However, the claim that Israel has killed 5,000 children and only killed 60 Hamas is highly misleading. The IDF has claimed to have “been able to get their hands” on 60 Hamas commanders, both mid and senior level, according to Lt. Col. IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus in an interview with Sky News.

“But so far, we have been able to get our hands on at least 60 of them, mid-level and senior-level Hamas commanders,” Conricus said in the interview. (RELATED: X Post Makes False Claim About UN, Trucks Entering Gaza Strip)

In an Oct. 29 press release, the IDF claimed to have killed “hundreds of additional Hamas terrorists from the Nukhba, anti-tank and rocket units” in addition to several Hamas commanders. Furthermore, the IDF puts out statements on its social media channels highlighting claims of killing dozens of terrorists.

For example, the IDF claimed in a Nov. 9 Telegram post that the “162nd Division has been operating in recent days in the center of Gaza City in the area of ​​Hamas’ military quarter; forces of the Givati ​​Brigade eliminated about 50 terrorists.” It said in a Nov. 8 post that during a raid on a Hamas compound, the troops of the 7th Brigade “eliminated approximately 30 terrorists.”

In a Nov. 14 post, the IDF said that the 162nd Division has killed 1,000 Hamas terrorists in its operation in the northern Gaza Strip.

“These claims are false. We currently do not have a number of terrorists who have been killed or wounded,” an IDF spokesperson told Check Your Fact in a Nov. 10 email.

The Gaza Ministry of Health, which is run by Hamas, has claimed that 4,506 children and 3,000 women have been killed so far in the Israeli campaign against the Gaza Strip, according to Al Jazeera. The numbers have not been updated since Nov. 10, the outlet reported.

Check Your Fact could not independently verify these numbers, though other outlets have reported that the numbers put out by the ministry are mostly accurate. The Times of Israel, though, also reported that it could not verify the numbers and that said numbers “are believed to include Palestinian civilians killed by terror activity in the Strip as well as Palestinian terrorists killed by the IDF.”

The numbers also likely include the claimed death toll from the Oct. 17-Ahli Arab Hospital blast, which the Ministry of Health claims killed 471 people, according to The Economist. The director of the Al-Shifa Hospital said to France 24 that around 250 people died in the blast, while an unclassified U.S. intelligence assessment says between 100 and 300 people died, though U.S. officials had low confidence in the figure, according to The New York Times.

Update 11/14/2023: This post has been updated to include an IDF Telegram post that says the 162nd has killed 1,000 Hamas terrorists. 

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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