BEIRUT — The death toll has exceeded 4,150 people during the Hamas-led operation into Israel and the massive Israeli retaliation — amid considerable uncertainty over the exact numbers.
The Palestinian Health Ministry has announced 2,750 Palestinians killed in Gaza as of Monday morning, local time, and the Israeli Army has said more than 1,400 Israelis have been killed.
In addition, the Israeli Army has claimed to have found 1,500 bodies — they claim they are those of Hamas fighters — inside Israel. This information has been denied by a Hamas spokesperson contacted by L’Orient Today and it is unclear whether any of the alleged bodies, if they exist, are included in the count provided by the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Among the dead in Gaza over the past ten days are 724 children, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Between 2008 and the start of the current war, 6,407 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli occupation in a series of major wars and constant daily violence, according to data from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). Of those killed, 1,437 were children under 18 at the time of their deaths.
The Israeli occupation of Palestine has been ongoing since the founding of the Israeli state in 1948. A series of major wars were fought in 1948, 1967 and 1973, as well as two wide-scale popular uprisings known as the first and second Intifadas of 1987–1993 and 2000–2005. Israel also occupies Lebanese and Syrian territory and has done so since 1982 in Lebanon’s case, and 1967 in Syria’s, which has resulted in conflicts leading to large numbers of Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian deaths.
In two of the recent years covered by UNOCHA data, 2009 and 2014, the death toll among Palestinians in the occupied territories, including those seized and occupied in 1948, exceeded 1,000. Both years saw massive Israeli bombardments of the Gaza Strip. The current Israeli bombardment of Gaza is on track to exceed the number of deaths in those years, if it has not already.
Conversely, despite the dominant media framing in many countries that the conflict goes “both ways” in terms of casualties, the past 15 years have seen far fewer Israeli deaths than Palestinian ones. According to UNOCHA, a total of 308 Israelis have died due to the occupation and its resulting conflicts between 2008 and the start of the most recent war. This figure includes soldiers, West Bank settlers and civilians inside the 1948 borders. Twenty-six of the dead have been children under 18 at the time of their deaths.
With the current claim from Israel of more than 1,400 Israeli deaths since Saturday, the current conflict is by far the deadliest year for Israelis since 2008. The next deadliest year, 2014, Israel suffered 88 war deaths.
This article has been updated on Oct. 16, 2023, to reflect the latest casualties.
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