What is the real death toll in Gaza and who is counting the victims?

More than 21 thousand Palestinians have died since the beginning of the war in Gaza; That’s about one percent of the Strip’s population of 2.4 million. But the real number may be much higher and it is feared that hundreds, even thousands, of bodies are still hidden under the rubble created by Israel’s horrific bombings. Most of the dead are civilians, and the number of Hamas fighters eliminated so far is 8,000, according to Tel Aviv. However, the Israeli government did not explain how it reached this estimate.

How many of the dead were civilians and how many were combatants?

Health authorities in Sharia, which is governed by an Islamic organization, do not report how many of the dead were civilians and how many were combatants. Gaza officials say it is becoming increasingly difficult to count the dead, but most experts say the official figure is probably insufficient compared to the magnitude of the losses. Some military experts have said more people were killed more quickly in that war than in the deadliest phases of the U.S.-led Afghanistan or Iraq wars. The death toll is higher than any other Arab conflict with Israel in more than 40 years, and perhaps higher than any conflict since Israel’s founding in 1948.

So how can we get an accurate count of victims in such an environment of chaos and destruction? Can we trust the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Strip, which is under Hamas control and cooperates with the Ministry of Media? In past wars and conflicts, human rights groups in Gaza confirmed the figures made public by the ministry. Israeli newspaper journalist Jack Khoury said local non-governmental organizations were conducting independent investigations HaaretzArab affairs expert. These groups “had a bit of a delay compared to the Department of Health, about 24 hours, but the numbers were generally similar, with very little difference.” There are now very few NGOs left in the Strip and they are trying to carry out census checks despite the difficulties.

real numbers

in an interview for HaaretzThe journalist said Khoury cross-referenced the ministry’s data with data from NGOs such as the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and some international groups, and “they all said the figures were quite accurate.” Gaza Ministry of Health Spokesperson Ashraf al-Kidra said the following on the subject:Associated press The ministry’s resources include hospital administrators and the Palestinian Red Crescent. The numbers are then sent to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. The death toll announced by the ministry in past wars was similar to the figures announced by the United Nations and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For example, in the war in 2014, the Gaza Ministry of Health counted 2,310 Palestinian deaths in the two-month war, while the United Nations counted 2,251 and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs counted 2,125.

There Reuters He reported last week that communication lines were cut off due to the war. While one of the officials managing the data center of Al-Shifa hospital was killed in an Israeli airstrike, nothing is known about the other three since they took control of the medical center used by Israeli soldiers, according to Tel Aviv. He sees Hamas as a command base, but so far no evidence has been produced for this accusation. Since then, the ministry’s records have been published more intermittently.

Victims of missiles launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad

When speaking of Palestinian victims, we must take into account that among the dead may also have been victims of missiles launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad that missed their target, as in the bombing of Al Ahli hospital. . According to the Israeli army’s statement, 10-12 percent of more than 10 thousand rockets fired at Israel fell in Gaza, but even in this case, there is a lack of evidence. According to Professor Kobi Michael, a senior researcher at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies and the Misgav Institute for National Security and Zionist Strategy, the number of victims of Palestinian rockets will be “significant.” In all cases the total death toll will be accurate.

At the end of October, it was US President Joe Biden who questioned Hamas’ figures. “I have no confidence in the trick the Palestinians are using,” he said at a news conference. In response, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health made public the names, ages, genders and identification numbers of 7,028 Palestinians killed in Gaza so far. According to this ReutersThe list was analyzed by Zeina Jamaluddine, Francesco Checchi and Oona Campbell from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and it turned out to be correct. The results of the study were published in the medical journal Lancet.

Source: Today IT