Iranian PressTV publishes misleading claim on numbers of Israeli soldiers with disability from Gaza war

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Summary

The Iranian state-owned PressTV has claimed that 70,000 Israeli soldiers have been disabled with thousands wounded in the ongoing Israel-Gaza war since October 7, 2023.

OUR VERDICT: The claim that the number of disabled Israeli soldiers has surpassed 70,000 is MISLEADING; the figure was exaggerated by PressTV.

THE Iranian state-owned PressTV has claimed that 70,000 Israeli soldiers have been disabled with thousands wounded in the ongoing Israel-Gaza war since October 7, 2023.

The claim made the headline of a report published on the PressTV’s website on June 19, 2024.

The headline read: ‘70,000 Israeli soldiers disabled; thousands wounded in Gaza war.’

The report stated that the Israeli ministry of military affairs said that since the war started, the number of disabled Israeli soldiers have surpassed the 70,000 mark while 8,663 troops have also been injured.

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Part of the news report read:

The Israeli ministry of military affairs says the number of disabled Israeli soldiers has surpassed the 70,000 mark for the first time, adding that 8,663 troops have also been injured since the start of the war on Gaza.

The report revealed by the rehabilitation division of the Israeli ministry said that 35% of those wounded since the start of the Gaza massacre are struggling with mental health conditions, while 21% sustained physical injuries.

The department is expecting for an influx of approximately 20,000 additional injured soldiers from the beginning of the ongoing conflict until the conclusion of 2024.

The report further noted that an expert analysis revealed that about 40 per cent of individuals to be admitted by the end of 2024 may face psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and communication difficulties.

“The Israeli medical association has reported that more than 1,000 new male and female veterans are under treatment in the department on a monthly basis, with about 20% of them dealing with mental reactions and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Out of the total number of disabled Israeli occupation forces, including soldiers from all Israeli wars, a significant portion of 9,539 soldiers are suffering from PTSD and mental reactions.

“On June 7, 2024, an Israeli military soldier named Eliran Mizrahi took his own life, after he was called back to war while suffering from PTSD and two injuries,” the report added.

 

CLAIM

Number of disabled Israeli soldiers now over 70,000.

 

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is MISLEADING, as the number was exaggerated.

A Google search using the keyword ‘disabled Israeli soldiers’ shows similar reports from non-credible websites and unpopular blogs.

But reports from credible media platforms indicated that the number of Israeli soldiers who suffered disability from the Israeli-Gaza war is much fewer than the 70,000 reported by the PressTV.

Since October 7, 2023, over 2,000 Israeli soldiers have been officially recognized as disabled by the Israeli Ministry of Defense due to injuries sustained on the battlefield. The severity of these injuries is significant, with more than 58% involving serious harm to limbs, often resulting in amputations and a significant demand for rehabilitation services​, the Anadolu Agency reported in December 2023.

An Israeli military analyst, Yossi Yehoshua, had predicted in February 2024 that Israel will end the year with 12,000 Israeli soldiers suffering from disabilities as a result of the ongoing Israeli-Gaza war, the Anadolu Agency reported. It added that Israeli unofficial figures indicated that a total of 2,988 Israeli soldiers have been injured since the start of the conflict.

Also, a Lebanese media platform, Al Mayadeen, had earlier in June 2024, reported that 20,000 Israeli soldiers have been injured and 8,298 disabled since October 7.

However, the Israeli ‘Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization (ZDVO)’, the only organization legally responsible for representing those veterans wounded and disabled while serving in defense of the State of Israel (it claims), puts the overall figure of Israeli soldiers with disability from the nation’s multiple wars at 51,000. This figure include soldiers wounded in the Israel-Gaza war and earlier conflicts dating back to 1949. The figure was corroborated by Edan Kleiman, who chairs the nonprofit ZDVO in a report published by the Times of Israel in December 2023.

The ZDVO is a registered non-profit organization, established in the wake of the War of Independence (1949), with the purpose of providing the 3,400 disabled veterans from the 1949 war with all their needs towards the long process of their rehabilitation.

In addition, Aljazeera reported on June 16, 2024 that the number of Israeli troops killed since October 7, 2023 has risen to 662.

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Another report published by the Turkish Anadolu Agency (AA) on June 21, 2024 stated that the Israeli army announced the killing of two more soldiers during battles in the central Gaza Strip which increased the list of soldiers who died in the Gaza conflict to 664 while 3,871 others have been injured.

The Israel Defense Forces on its official website said that a total of 3,895 soldiers were injured while 665 have been killed since the October 7 Hamas-led attacks on Israel till date.

Further checks show that the ministry charged with overseeing the affairs of the Israeli military is popularly known as the Israel Ministry of Defense and not Israeli ministry of military affairs, as quoted often by most Iranian news sites as seen here and here.

 

THE VERDICT

The claim that the number of disabled Israeli soldiers has surpassed 70,000 is MISLEADING; the figure was exaggerated by PressTV.

SOURCE: PressTV.

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