Study finds Israel's war against Gaza could lead to nearly 86,000 additional deaths

World
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 7:22 GMT
Escalation of hostilities would result in deaths of 85,750 more Palestinians in coming 6 months, report indicates.
Study finds Israel's war against Gaza could lead to nearly 86,000 additional deaths

Nearly 86,000 more people could die if Israel's ongoing war against the besieged Gaza Strip further escalates, a joint US-UK study indicates.

The Crisis in Gaza: Scenario-Based Health Impact Projections is a joint project from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Johns Hopkins University's Center for Humanitarian Health.

The study, released Monday, tracked three scenarios, including a worst-case possibility in which hostilities escalate in Gaza, resulting in the deaths of 85,750 Palestinians from physical trauma and disease in the next six months.

That would come on top of the nearly 30,000 deaths that have been recorded by the coastal enclave's health authorities since hostilities began in early October.

A middle-of-the-road tally based on the continuation of conditions that have existed in the past four months found that injuries and disease would kill 66,720 Palestinians in the next half-year.

A best-case scenario in which a cease-fire is brokered would still lead to the deaths of some 11,580 Palestinians. Just under half of those deaths would be attributed to epidemics.

"Our projections indicate that even in the best-case ceasefire scenario, thousands of excess deaths would continue to occur, mainly due to the time it would take to improve water, sanitation and shelter conditions, reduce malnutrition, and restore functioning healthcare services in Gaza," wrote the report's authors.

The project is expected to update its findings regularly through May as the situation on the ground evolves.

It comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to take the war to southern Gaza's city of Rafah where nearly one-and-a-half million people are sheltering. Most have fled to Rafah after being displaced from other parts of Gaza by the war.

Netanyahu has vowed to carry out the ground assault by the start of Ramadan next month if the more than 130 hostages held by Hamas are not freed.

AA

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