Deaths in the Israel-Hamas Conflict

An 8-year-old boy from Rafah City, sits amongst the rubble of his family's destroyed home. Credit: UNICEF/Eyad El Baba
  • Opinion by Joseph Chamie (portland, usa)
  • Inter Press Service

After more than a month of fighting, the reported numbers of deaths are evolving and being constantly revised and updated as the war has continued.

The estimated numbers of deaths between 7 October and 13 November provide a preliminary assessment of the extent of the death toll for Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as well as for others (Table 1).

According to the Israeli officials, the revised number of Israeli deaths - with about 70 percent of them having been identified as civilians - resulting from the Hamas attack in southern Israel is estimated at approximately 1,200.

Those killed in Israel on 7 October also include some foreigners and dual nationals. At least 31 U.S. citizens, 39 French citizens and 34 Thai citizens were killed during the attacks, according to authorities in those countries. The Israeli military has also reported that 1,500 Hamas fighters were killed during the 7 October attack.

On the 7 October attack, Israeli authorities have reported that more than 240 individuals from more than 40 countries, including young children and the elderly, were taken hostage and believed to be held by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in Gaza.

An estimated 20 hostages are reported to have subsequently died as a result of the conflict. In addition to those estimated deaths, at least 46 Israeli soldiers are reported to have been killed in combat since the ground invasion began.

With a total population of approximately 9.8 million, the Israeli death rate resulting from the current Israel-Hamas conflict is approximately 13 deaths per 100,000 population.

In response to the 7 October Hamas attack, the death toll in the Gaza Strip from Israeli military operations is estimated as of 13 November at 11,240 Palestinians with an estimated 4,630 being children, according to health officials in Gaza.

However, the number of deaths in the Gaza Strip could even be higher than being cited, given its dense confines and with approximately 2,700 people reported missing.

With an estimated total population of 2.2 million in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian death rate for the population of Gaza due to the Israeli-Hamas conflict is approximately 510 deaths per 100,000 population.

Besides the Israeli and Palestinian deaths in Israel and Gaza since 7 October, others have been killed. Nearly 200 Palestinians in the West Bank are reported to have been killed amid an increase in Israeli military raids and incursions.

Also, 101 employees of the United Nations have been killed since the Israeli-Hamas war began, according to the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA). The agency stressed that it is the deadliest conflict ever for the United Nations in such a short period of time.

In addition, at least 42 journalists and media workers reporting on the conflict have been killed.

The various estimated numbers of deaths resulting from the Israel-Hamas conflict that are presented above continue to be revised and updated. After the current Israel-Hamas hostilities have concluded, a comprehensive assessment will be necessary to provide a more accurate and detailed picture of those who have died as a result of the conflict.

Tragically, the death toll resulting from the Israel-Hamas conflict is already too high. As some have remarked, far too many have been killed and far too many have suffered from this current round of fighting. Also importantly, as many around the world are urging, the time for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate “שָׁלוֹם“ ,“سلام”, or a “peace” solution is now.

Joseph Chamie is a consulting demographer, a former director of the United Nations Population Division and author of numerous publications on population issues, including his recent book, "Population Levels, Trends, and Differentials".

© Inter Press Service (2023) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service