The Lancet: The number of dead in Gaza may exceed 186,000


Published 11 July 2024 at 10.24

Foreign. A new study published in the British medical journal The Lancet warns that the true death toll in Gaza could exceed 186,000 – which represents 8 percent of Gaza's population.

Share the article


According to the official figures from the Gaza Ministry of Health, about 40,000 people have died in Gaza since the war broke out in October.

The new study, published on Friday under the headline “Counting the dead in Gaza: Difficult but necessary”, argues that the official figures may be greatly underestimated.

The true death toll likely includes thousands of people still trapped under the ethnic masses, as well as those who have died from secondary effects of the conflict, such as malnutrition, disease and lack of medical care.

A major contributor to the high the death toll is the 14,000 bombs, each weighing about a ton, that the US has delivered to Israel. These bombs have not only caused immediate deaths, but have also destroyed Gaza's infrastructure, exacerbating conditions leading to further deaths.

The destruction of healthcare facilities, food distribution networks and sanitation systems has left the population living dangerously. The Lancet emphasizes the difficulty of collecting accurate data due to the widespread destruction.

“The number of reported deaths is likely to be an underestimate. The NGO Airwars conducts detailed assessments of incidents in Gaza and often finds that not all named victims are on the ministry's list. In addition, the UN estimates that 35 percent of the buildings in the Gaza Strip had been destroyed by February 29, 2024, so the number of bodies still buried under rubble is likely to be significant, with estimates exceeding 10,000.” that in the study.

The researchers write further:

“The total death toll is expected to be high given the intensity of the conflict; destroyed health and medical infrastructure; severe lack of food, water and shelter; the inability of the population to flee to safe places; and the loss of funding to UNRWA, one of the few humanitarian organizations still operating in the Gaza Strip.”