New analysis highlights the devastating indirect effects of the ongoing conflict in Gaza, suggesting the true death toll could reach nearly 200,000, far surpassing official counts.

By Jordan Atwood, Nation of Change

A new analysis has revealed that the death toll in Gaza could exceed 186,000 as a result of indirect effects from the ongoing conflict, highlighting a humanitarian crisis of staggering proportions. The study, published in the medical journal The Lancet on July 5, suggests that the true impact of the war extends far beyond the immediate casualties from violence.

al-shifa surgery unit hospital destroyed in Gaza

The official death toll reported by Gaza health officials stands at 38,193, a figure that includes those killed directly by Israeli airstrikes and military actions. However, public health experts Rasha Khatib of the Advocate Aurora Research Institute, Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Salim Yusuf of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences argue that this number significantly underestimates the actual death toll. They cite the destruction of healthcare infrastructure, the blockade on humanitarian aid, and widespread starvation as contributing factors to a much higher number of deaths.

“Armed conflicts have indirect health implications beyond the direct harm from violence,” wrote the authors. They estimate that the total number of deaths could approach 200,000 when including indirect causes such as reproductive, communicable, and noncommunicable diseases. The experts point out that in recent conflicts, indirect deaths have ranged from three to 15 times the number of direct deaths. Applying a conservative estimate of four indirect deaths per one direct death to the reported figures, the study suggests a possible death toll of up to 186,000.

Read More