Gaza Death Toll Could Exceed 186,000, Lancet Study Finds

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Death toll from Israel’s war on Gaza could exceed 186,000, according to a study published in the medical journal Lancet.

The figure would represent almost 8 percent of Gaza’s pre-war population of 2.3 million, the study found.

More than 38,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its military assault on the strip in October, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

However, the Lancet study warned that the true number of deaths could likely be much higher due to the extensive destruction of health facilities, food distribution networks and other vital infrastructure.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees has also faced significant funding cuts, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.

According to UN data, as of February this year, more than 10,000 bodies were believed to be buried under rubble, with 35 percent of Gaza’s buildings having been destroyed.

“In recent conflicts, such indirect deaths range from three to 15 times the number of direct deaths,” it said.

Using a conservative estimate of four indirect deaths for every direct death, the study said “it is not implausible to estimate that up to 186,000 or even more deaths could be attributable.”

The Lancet study also addressed claims of data fabrication by Gaza’s Health Ministry, stating that Israeli intelligence, the UN and World Health Organisation all find such accusations “implausible.”

It said: “Documenting the true scale is crucial for ensuring historical accountability and acknowledging the full cost of the war. It is also a legal requirement.”

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