This claim originates not on +972, but on Local Call. Honestly, the difference isn't very clear, but +972 does make a distinction
Local Call (or Sikha Mekomit) is a Hebrew-language news site committed to democracy, peace, equality, social justice, transparency, freedom of information and resisting the occupation. The site was co-founded and is co-published by Just Vision and 972 Advancement of Citizen Journalism (which also publishes +972 Magazine). Several Local Call and +972 Magazine writers publish on both platforms.
The article in question lays out the facts,
- The IDF did not trust the data at the start of the conflict.
- After a comprehensive investigation which included monitoring the Gaza Ministry of Health they found the data to be reliable.
- Now the IDF uses that data in many places internally, as there is no better source of data available for civilian causalities. The IDF casualty count is said to be "exclusively" based on the Gaza Ministry of Health.
- This number isn't taken as authoritative but is taken as a lower-floor for casualties. It is estimated 8,000 people as of 2024-01-24 are not yet included in the casualty county by the Gaza Ministry of Health.
Contents of Article
On that site I was able to trace that clam back to an article which Google translates as "The army checked and found that the reports of the dead in the Ministry of Health in Gaza are reliable", the contents of that article are
The military intelligence system relies almost exclusively on the Ministry of Health, which is under the control of Hamas in Gaza, to estimate how many civilians the army has killed in the Strip since the beginning of the war, two Israeli intelligence sources revealed to "Local Talk". This is in contrast to the statements of officials in Israel, and of American President Joe Biden, as if these figures are questionable.
The source said that for this reason he "trusts the Ministry of Health in Gaza more than the IDF, because the IDF does not have direct access to information regarding the civilians it has killed. They (the Ministry of Health in Gaza) are not always accurate, but this is the best there is."
A second Israeli intelligence source, who was exposed to the data that the army uses in its assessments regarding the war in Gaza, told the "local conversation" that a research body in the army conducted an in-depth examination regarding the reliability of the numbers of the Ministry of Health in Gaza during the war before it was decided to rely on them.
The source claimed that the numbers of the Ministry of Health in Gaza are now displayed at meetings and briefings in the army on a regular basis after they were found "reliable" in an inspection. "In every situation, when everyone updates each other on what is happening, there is a slide that shows the current number of civilians killed in Gaza. And by and large, it is based exclusively on the Hamas Health Ministry," he said.
"Characterize these databases, as a source, and ask if it can be trusted or not. The conclusion is that, overall, yes," said the source. "It is assumed that there is a gap between the data and the reality and that they may be manipulating, but they checked, and it is reliable. Also see that in previous rounds the reports of the Ministry of Health in Gaza were reliable. Also, we have no other source."
The source said that the army not only trusts the numbers of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, but agrees that they are an "underestimation", and that the real number of civilians killed in Gaza is greater. The Ministry of Health in Gaza bases its data on counts in the hospitals. According to his estimate, at least 8,000 people were killed, but their bodies did not reach the hospitals.