© Eyal TouegA military helicopter carrying wounded soldiers lands in the Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv.
Unlike past conflicts and wars, the Israeli army withheld reports of wounded soldiers and their condition. The army released the information after Haaretz reported it is refusing to do so...

Making its first such announcement since Hamas attacked on October 7, Israel stated on Sunday that 1,593 Israeli soldiers have been wounded during this period.

The military noted that 255 soldiers had suffered serious injuries, 446 moderate injuries and 892 minor injuries. The army released the information on the numbers of wounded soldiers and their condition after Haaretz reported two weeks ago that it had been refusing to do so. Those figures include 559 soldiers who have been wounded during Israel's ground operation in Gaza, including 127 who were seriously injured, 213 moderately injured and 219 who suffered minor injuries. As of Sunday, 40 seriously wounded soldiers remained hospitalized, as well as 211 moderately injured and 165 with minor injuries.

Beginning Monday, the military will give daily updates at 1 P.M. Israel time.

Total wounded soldiers
  • 1,593 Since start of war
  • 559 Since ground incursion began
  • 255 Severely wounded
  • 446 Moderately wounded
  • 892 Lightly wounded
Soldiers currently hospitalized
  • 40 Seriously wounded
  • 211 Moderately wounded
  • 165 Lightly wounded
The army initially refused to disclose information requested by Haaretz regarding the number of soldiers wounded since the beginning of the conflict. The question of why the data could not be published was left unanswered. Shortly before publication, the military agreed to provide the information.

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari has not discussed wounded soldiers in his daily updates, nor has the army released any information on the matter except for rare instances, accompanying reports on dead soldiers. This policy differs from previous wars and operations, during which the military provided reports on injuries alongside publications about the soldiers' combat activities and rehabilitation.

Prior to the Haaretz report, the army not only refrained from publishing data on soldiers wounded since October 7, but also refused at first even to reveal them to Haaretz at all, doing so only near publication of the report.

As of Sunday, the number of fallen soldiers in the war that Israel had dubbed "Swords of Iron" stands at 425 (97 of whom have been killed since the launch of the ground operation).

An examination conducted by Haaretz with the hospitals where the wounded soldiers have been and are treated shows a considerable and unexplained gap between the data reported by the military and that from the hospitals. The hospitals' data shows that the number of wounded soldiers to be twice as high as the army's numbers.

For example, Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon alone reports treating 1,949 soldiers hurt in the war since October 7 (out of 3,117 injured people treated there during the war), whereas the army reports a total of 1,593 wounded soldiers. Assuta Ashdod reportedly treated 178 patients, Ichilov (Tel Aviv) 148, Rambam (Haifa) 181, Hadassah (Jerusalem) 209 and Sha'arei Tzedek (Jerusalem) 139.

In addition, another 1,000 or so soldiers were treated at Be'er Sheva's Soroka Medical Center, while another 650 were treated at Sheba Medical Center in Tel-Hashomer. This is a partial list, as the data does not include soldiers currently in rehab wards who have already been counted as wounded upon arrival at emergency wards and inpatient wards.

Even accounting for various notation and reporting gaps, which may occur in the hospital field, the discrepancy is large between the army's figures and those of the hospitals. Reporting gaps include duplicate registration of wounded transferred from one hospital to another. It's also possible that at least some hospitals admitted soldiers requiring medical attention unrelated to the war.

Most of the relevant hospitals keep notes and also operate a situation room dealing with war casualties. Therefore, the reported data refers to soldiers wounded in the war.

The gaps between the army's data and the hospitals' data also comes into sharp relief in light of Health Ministry statistics maintained on its website. This website displays general casualty data - civilians and soldiers alike. According to the Health Ministry's data, 10,548 soldiers and civilians who were wounded in the war have been admitted between October 7 and December 10. Of those, 131 in hospital, 471 were admitted in severe or critical condition, while 868 were listed in moderate condition.

Additionally, 8,308 suffered minor injuries, 600 suffered anxiety attacks, and the condition of 206 is unknown. The army's figure of 1,593 wounded soldiers accounts for only 15 percent of the total number of admissions, which seems unusually low, since one would expect a significant portion of the war-related casualties to be soldiers.

The army commented that its figures relate only to soldiers who've been classified as unable to return to service.

Another obscure figure, not reported to the public, has to do with wounded security establishment personnel who do not belong to the military, and were wounded in the course of wartime duty. These personnel includes special reconnaissance fighters and members of SWAT units, the police, Border Police, Shin Bet and emergency and rescue units like Magen David Adom.

The IDF Spokesperson's tight oversight regarding wounded military personnel has recently come under much criticism from hospital spokespeople.

In a letter to hospital spokespeople by the head of media at the IDF Spokesperson's unit, Lt. Col. Adi Barel-Even, the hospitals were asked to report the condition of the soldiers hospitalized at their facilities only once a day, at 1 P.M., and to disseminate only data from the preceding 24 hours, without specifying soldiers whose injuries had not been reported in the preceding IDF Spokesperson's announcement.

Barel-Even explained the change in the procedures was a "desire to protect the dignity of the wounded and their families." The spokespeople were further asked to "refrain from publishing announcements hinting at the arrival of wounded soldiers at your facility, in the course of operational incidents, prior to an official IDF Spokesperson's announcement."

The hospital spokespeople took umbrage at the guidelines, treating it as an attempted takeover and an attack on their freedom of work in what they consider to be part of the national effort.

Hospital officials say that IDF Spokesperson's unit delegates are in the hospitals around the clock. Every press release regarding wounded soldiers, as well as replies to media queries, must receive their approval.