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35,000 Or Less? After Israel's Claims Of Revised Gaza Death Toll Sparks Controversy, UN Clarifies

As the war continues to rage on, the death toll due to Israeli bombardment in the strip has touched 35,000 and is expected to increase as the days go by.

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35,000 Or Less? After Israel's Claims Of Revised Gaza Death Toll Sparks Controversy, UN Clarifies Photo: AP
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With no sign of a truce between Israel and militant group Hamas, the death toll in Gaza Strip is increasing every day. As the war continues to rage on, the death toll due to Israeli bombardment in the strip has touched 35,000 and is expected to increase as the days go by.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that 50 percent of the current death toll in Gaza are of Hamas fighters and militants. The Israeli PM further downplayed the numbers of the civilian death toll, which sparked outrage across the international community.

Speaking at the Call Me Back podcast, the Israeli leader claimed " around 14,000 have been killed, combatants, and, probably around 16,000 civilians have been killed.” The IDF, on the other hand, have claimed around 15,000 Hamas combatants have been killed.

This statement from Netanyahu came after the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs published details regarding the death toll in the war-torn strip, based on the data provided by the Gaza Health Ministry.

As per these numbers, the death toll had allegedly been revised down to 24,686. This revised toll further added that 7,797 children and 4,959 women had been killed since October 7, 2023.

This data was then circulated across news websites, including some pro-Israel media, claiming that the United Nations had previously exaggerated the death toll in the Gaza Strip.

However, what such reports failed to mention is that this data was incomplete. After the controversy erupted, the United Nations clarified that the death toll in Gaza remains unchanged and still stands at 35,000.

Death Toll in Gaza Strip Remains Unchanged: UN Explains

Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, stated that the smaller numbers reflected the number of bodies that have been identified. Based on this, out of the death toll of 35,000, around 24,686 bodies have been identified.

As as April 30, Haq stated that the Gaza Health ministry has published the breakdown of the toll with 24,686 fully identified deaths out of the total 34,622 fatalities recorded, which includes 7,797 children, 4,959 women, 1,924 elderly, and 10,006 men.

The remaining are yet to be identified. Haq added that as the identification process continues, the toll will rise.

"The overall number of fatalities tallied by the ministry of health in Gaza, which is our counterpart on dealing with the death tolls. That number remains unchanged, and it’s more than 35,000 people since October” Haq said.

“What’s changed is the ministry of health in Gaza has updated the breakdown of fatalities, for whom full details have been documented," he added.

However, despite the UN stating that the death toll remains unchanged, Haq added that the organization was not in a position to verify the figures presented by the Gaza Health Ministry due to the situation on the ground.

Officials from the Palestinian Ministry of Health told CNN that despite having two separate databases for identified and unidentified deaths, the overall death toll remains unchanged.

As per the latest report published in May, the identified death toll has already increased to a total of 15,103 children and 9,961 women.

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