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Gaza death toll soars to over 37,000 as health crisis deepens

Gaza death toll soars to over 37,000 as health crisis deepens A man, holding a dead child, mourns as bodies of Palestinians, killed during simultaneous Israeli attacks on Nuseirat, Gaza, June 8, 2024. (AA Photo)
By Newsroom
Jul 8, 2024 4:39 PM

According to an article in the medical journal The Lancet, as of June 19, 2024, the Gaza Health Ministry reported that 37,396 people had died in the Gaza Strip following the Hamas attack and the subsequent Israeli invasion in October 2023.

Data accuracy controversy

The report stated that while Israeli authorities have questioned these figures, they are recognized as accurate by Israeli intelligence, the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Independent analyses, as mentioned in the article, support the ministry’s data, noting that allegations of data fabrication are unlikely.

The article indicated that because of the extensive destruction of infrastructure, the Gaza Health Ministry faces increasing difficulties in collecting data. They now rely on reports from reliable media and first responders besides hospital records, leading to less detailed data. As of May 10, 2024, 30% of the 35,091 reported deaths were of unidentified individuals.

Some officials and media have used these reporting changes to cast doubt on the data’s accuracy, but the actual death toll is likely higher.

With 35% of buildings destroyed by February 29, 2024, many bodies remain buried in the rubble, with estimates exceeding 10,000.

Call for urgent cease-fire

The conflict’s indirect health effects will result in additional deaths from various diseases and conditions, exacerbated by destroyed healthcare infrastructure, shortages of essential resources, inability to escape, and reduced funding to UNRWA.

It is stressed that an urgent cease-fire is necessary to enable humanitarian aid and record the conflict’s full impact for historical accountability and legal purposes.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has mandated Israel to preserve evidence related to genocide allegations. Accurate data will be essential for post-war recovery and planning humanitarian aid.

Last Updated:  Jul 8, 2024 5:05 PM