Gaza’s Death Toll Is Out Of Control, But Why?
Let’s put it into context because the reasons behind this conflict are murkier than you might think.
It goes without saying that the situation in Gaza and Israel is dire. The horrific scenes of October 7th have deeply scared the Israeli people and their supporters. The attack emboldened Israel’s extreme right-wing leader, Netanyahu, to undertake an indiscriminate onslaught against Gaza and enforce his hard-line Zionist stance on the state. Since October 7th, Israeli forces have attacked Gaza hospitals, blocked aid, water and fuel and bombarded the densely populated region with the equivalent of two Hiroshima’s worth of munitions, leading to the deaths of at least 13,000 Gazans, the vast majority of which are innocent children and women. Not only has this been condemned by many in the international community as an act of genocide and war crimes, but many Israelis are outraged at Netanyahu’s brutalisation of Gaza. This is reflected in a recent poll that found his approval rating has tanked to just 4% (undertaken on November 14th). I am writing this article on November 20th, which is both World Children’s Day, a global initiative promoting children’s rights, safety, education, health and happiness, and also my daughter’s birthday. So, I want to put this profoundly troubling conflict into context, especially the devastating toll it is taking on innocent children, and get a clearer understanding of how such a cataclysmic situation was allowed to transpire.
Let’s start with the extent of the damage in Gaza. Since October 7th, Israeli forces have killed over 13,000 Palestinians, of which 5,500 are children, according to Palestinian officials, which have historically been found to accurately report deaths. That means a Palestinian child has died every ten minutes for well over a month. In addition, 1,800 children are missing and likely trapped under rubble, many of whom are highly likely to be dead but not yet exhumed and counted among the dead. A further 9,000 children have sustained life-altering injuries, such as severe burns and amputations. These figures are backed up by independent sources. The UN has stated that over 13,000 Palestinians have died, 70% of which are women and children. The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor recently said that they estimate the…