The number of victims from the Israeli bombardment against the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, has risen to 7,326 dead and 18,967 injured, the Gaza Ministry of Health reported this Friday. Among the dead are 3,038 minors, 1,726 women and 414 elderly, who lost their lives since October 7. However, Israel and the United States do not believe the numbers, which are supported by the UN, Fatah , Human Rights Watch and Red Crescent.
The ministry indicated that in the past few hours alone, Israeli aviation has killed 298 people, most of whom were displaced in the southern part of the Strip. He also added that at least 57 health institutions have been targeted by Israeli bombing since the start of the war and that there are at least 12 hospitals and 32 primary care centers without services due to the attack and lack of fuel.
The same US president, Joe Biden, assured that “he does not trust the numbers used by the Palestinians.” The president questioned them without providing evidence that these data were false. The Gaza Ministry of Health responded with a list of more than 200 pages containing the names and personal information of the victims appearing in its death due to the bombings. Hamas published a list containing the names of 6,747 people who died in Gaza between October 7 and 26 due to Israeli bombardment, adding that it did not include 281 dead who could not be identified.
The numbers from the Government of the Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, yes. But the data comes from hospitals, which are collapsing and caring for patients in terrible conditions. There is not even a single free ICU bed in some hospitals. Like everyone else on the Strip, they register in a database every patient who dies there and every body that arrives at the morgue. The ministry also collects data from agencies such as the Red Crescent. Hamas figures agree with the Fatah government in the West Bank and also with Human Rights Watch.
Both are consistent with the devastation caused by the bombing. And in the specific attacks they investigate, their numbers are comparable to those of Hamas. This is not the first war in Gaza. In the former, Hamas also provided the numbers and they are almost identical to the latter offered by the UN, the result of independent investigations. Precisely, independent observers, lost these days in the Strip because Israel does not allow the press to enter.
In a press conference this Friday in Jerusalem, the commissioner general of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, was asked about the reliability of the numbers offered by Hamas. “In the last five, six cycles of the conflict in the Gaza Strip, the numbers were considered reliable, no one dared to doubt the numbers,” Lazzarin recalled.