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Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek October 31, 2023

Haaretz rebuts claims about its reporting on Israeli casualties

If Your Time is short

  • Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, said on X that these claims about its reporting are "blatant lies."

  • Haaretz and other news organizations have reported that during an Oct. 7 attack in Israel, Hamas killed about 1,300 people.

A viral Oct. 28 social media post claimed that "Israel lied to justify genocide," and cited Israeli newspaper Haaretz as evidence. 

"Haaretz investigation reveals discrepancies in Israel’s reporting on October 7th death toll," said a screenshot of a headline shared on Instagram as the first in a carousel of slides. 

The second slide said a Haaretz investigation "confirmed that the actual number of casualties from the events on Oct. 7" is 900. 

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)  

(Screenshot from Instagram.)

Searching for the headline from the Instagram post turned up an Oct. 28 article on, the website for eHalal Group, a company that describes itself as Washington, D.C.-based and "dedicated to providing a range of services and solutions centered around the concept of halal." Halal, in Arabic, means lawful or permitted and refers to what's sanctioned under Islamic law. 

The eHalal Group article did not link to any Haaretz stories.   

Others made the same claim. Jackson Hinkle, a pro-Russia and pro-Trump social media personality, claimed in an Oct. 28 X post that Haaretz’s reporting "exposed" that Israeli officials had inflated the Oct. 7 death toll when it was actually around 900. 

Haaretz reshared Hinkle’s post on X and wrote: "This post contains blatant lies about the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7. It has absolutely no basis in Haaretz’s reporting, then or since." 

Haaretz is a Tel Aviv, Israel-based daily newspaper. Its website says it was founded by Zionist immigrants and has a "a broadly liberal outlook both on domestic issues and on international affairs."

PolitiFact found no evidence that Haaretz revealed "discrepancies" in Israel’s reporting of the death toll, as the claim says. We contacted Haaretz for comment but received no reply. 

Featured Fact-check

In the attack’s early hours, Haaretz reported that "at least 250 Israelis were killed and over 1,600 were wounded throughout the day." On Oct. 10, Haaretz reported that "over 900 Israelis have been killed since the initial Hamas attack." By Oct. 11, the newspaper reported that at least 1,200 Israelis had been killed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

An Oct. 17 Haaretz report examined what was then known about the attack. In that story, Haaretz reported that in the first hours of the war, Hamas "had overcome barriers Israel built on the border, murdering more than 1,300 people and taking at least 199 hostages." 

Those reported casualties were similar to figures other news outlets reported: 

  • The Associated Press reported that 1,300 Israelis were killed.

  • NBC News reported that 1,300 Israelis were killed, including 265 soldiers.

  • The Guardian reported that as of Oct. 13, 1,300 Israel residents had been killed, including almost 250 soldiers. Most of the dead were killed when Hamas attacked on Oct. 7. 

  • The Washington Post reported that 1,400 people were killed in Hamas’ attack and 229 were taken hostage.

When searching Haaretz’s site for the 900 figure, we found a page titled "Israel's Dead: The Names of Those Killed in Hamas Attacks, Massacres and the Israel-Hamas War."

The page lists more than 900 "officially confirmed names of Israel’s dead" from the attack on Oct. 7 "and the subsequent Israel-Hamas war." But that page also said more than 1,300 Israeli civilians and soldiers were killed and said the list would be "continuously updated." 

Our ruling

An Instagram post claimed that a "Haaretz investigation reveals discrepancies in Israel’s reporting on October 7th death toll."

Haaretz posted on X that the claims about its reporting are "blatant lies."

Haaretz and other news organizations have consistently reported that during the Oct. 7 attack, Hamas killed around 1,300 Israeli residents.

We rate these claims False.

PolitiFact Researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

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Haaretz rebuts claims about its reporting on Israeli casualties

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