The terrifying age reversal of the October 7 massacre


Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics regularly releases data on the daily number of deaths in the country. The most recent release covers the attacks on Israel’s “Black Sabbath”, October 7th.

There are no surprises when we look at the age pattern of those deaths: the young were the primary victims of these attacks, which is consistent with the news accounts and stories circulating on social media. However, the magnitude of the difference in the age pattern is still instructive.

The blue line is the normal pattern.  Measured against the right-hand axis, it points to the average number of deaths that occur on Saturdays between July 29th and September 30th. It has the classic shape of age-specific mortality: low and rising slowly between peoples 20s and their 40s, then increasing at an accelerating rate as people age. Of the 107 daily deaths across those prior Saturdays, 61% were of people aged 80 or above, and 4% were of people aged less than 30. This is the age-pattern that we are privileged to experience in the modern era: a large majority of us will live long lives.

The orange line is the number of deaths that occurred on October 7th. It is measured against the left-hand axis, which is 10 times as large as the right-hand axis.

The age pattern is also completely reversed. Of the 1,038 recorded deaths on October 7th, only 6% were of people aged 80+, and 52% were of people ages less than 30. The biggest impact was on 20-24 year-olds: 295 were killed. That is 44 more deaths than occurred in this age-group in all of 2022.

This inversion of the normal age-pattern of mortality, and the intentional mass murder of young people, is one of the sources of our anger, and of our determination to find and eliminate the murderous thugs, and their handlers, who were responsible for that attack.

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