Israel Could Kill 85,000 More Gazans in 6 Months

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine considered deaths from traumatic injuries as well as infectious diseases, maternal and neonatal health crises and other illness.

March on Washington for Gaza, Jan. 13, 2024. (Diane Krauthamer, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

By Julia Conley

Common Dreams

Scientists have warned an escalation in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza was projected to kill 85,000 Palestinians in the next six months — which would bring the total death toll to more than 114,000 people, or about 5 percent of Gaza’s population, in less than a year.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine completed modeling for a report titled Crisis in Gaza: Scenario-Based Health Impact Projections, estimating the projected “excess deaths” — those above what would be been expected before the war.

It is based on the health data available in Gaza before Israel began its air and ground attacks in October and the data that’s been collected in more than four months of fighting.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. (N Chadwick, cc-by-sa/2.0)

The potential deaths of 85,000 additional people in the next six months represents the worst of three possible scenarios modeled by the researchers.

If bombing, shelling, and other ground attacks continue at their current pace, the scientists projected the killings of 58,260 Palestinians over the next six months.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, considers deaths from traumatic injuries as well as infectious diseases, maternal and neonatal health crises, and diseases for which patients have lost access to treatment, such as kidney disease or cancer.

With 1-in-4 households in Gaza now facing “catastrophic” levels of hunger, according to the Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Phase Classification, “nutritional status” was named as a risk factor in the study, but the researchers did not include starvation as a potential cause of excess deaths.

In the case of an outbreak of an infectious disease such as cholera — which public health experts have warned could happen due to Israel’s near-total blockade on humanitarian aid and a lack of potable water — 66,720 people could die if the current level of violence continues.

“Even in the best-case cease-fire 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,” the study reads.

If an immediate cease-fire were established, the researchers projected at least 6,500 additional deaths, as people would be expected to die of previous injuries or be killed by unexploded ordnance.

The deaths of babies and women would also still be expected during and soon after childbirth, as complex care has become unavailable for many due to the collapse of the healthcare system, and undernourished children could die because of their reduced ability to fight off infections like pneumonia.

If a cease-fire began but an outbreak of a disease such as cholera, polio, or meningitis occurred, the scientists projected 11,580 people would die in Gaza between now and August.

Negotiations for a potential truce are underway in Israel to facilitate hostage exchanges, as Israeli forces continued to bomb Rafah. About 1.5 million people are currently in the city in southern Gaza, with most having fled Israeli attacks on other cities in Gaza. President Joe Biden said Monday he expected a temporary ceasefire within a week. 

“The decisions that are going to be taken over the next few days and weeks matter hugely in terms of the evolution of the death toll in Gaza,” Francesco Checchi, professor of epidemiology and international health at LSHTM, told The New York Times.

Despite the U.S. and Israeli governments’ persistent claims that the Israel Defense Forces are seeking to eradicate Hamas in retaliation for an attack on southern Israel that it led in October, the United Nations has estimated that about 40 percent of the people killed in Gaza have been children.

This trend would continue, according to the researchers, who projected that 42 percent of the Palestinians killed in the next six months would be under the age of 19. Journalist Séamus Malekafzali called the scientists’ projections “nothing short of horrific.”

Checchi told the Times that the researchers wanted to put the projections “at the front of people’s minds and on the desks of decision-makers, so that it can be said afterward that when these decisions were taken, there was some available evidence on how this would play out in terms of lives.”

Julia Conley is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

8 comments for “Israel Could Kill 85,000 More Gazans in 6 Months

  1. Valar Morghulis
    February 28, 2024 at 05:43

    can we please stop using the word “Gazans”?
    it’s distracting and it is also a lie.
    these people are the same as those who live in the West bank, in the refugee camps of Jordan, Libanon and elsewhere
    and even in Israel, as 1/5th of the population; they are PALESTINIANS.

    using the term Gazans is catering to Israeli propaganda that they are separate from the original indigenous population of PALESTINE.
    but they are not.

  2. Barbara Collins
    February 27, 2024 at 21:20

    Fascists at Lrningrad, Zionists in Gaza. Premeditated death , starvation. disease and the te despicable deaths of a generation of children.

  3. oscar armando
    February 27, 2024 at 12:54

    ……………………….. no words…………………. only the howling of a wild wolf…………………time after time……………………….after time……………

  4. Selina
    February 27, 2024 at 11:53

    Biden holds and controls the spigot by which these Israelis psychopaths and sociopaths whip their blind sadistic fury upon the children, the mothers, the fathers, the grandmothers and grandfathers, and uncles and aunties. Biden’s obscene perversity is fully cooperating in the twisted Israeli lie that Hamas is their target. 40% of the murdered are children! Israeli is shouting at the world! Don’t you ever think we will ever be vulnerable or controllable to anybody ever again! Israel is a mad dog, spilling lather and blood mindlessly, gone. While the chicken racist leadership of the world run by big Israeli affiliated money and corporate smugly and defiantly thumb their noses at their own aggrieved citizenry.

    • AsItIs
      February 28, 2024 at 06:06

      “Biden holds and controls the spigot”

      No at best he shares it with the Israeli lobby who hold and control most politicians in “The United States of America” rendering “the American dream” Israeli.

  5. Drew Hunkins
    February 27, 2024 at 10:21

    “Israel Could Kill 85,000 More Gazans in 6 Months”

    Who’s going to stop them?

    Tel Aviv must be hit hard with military strikes, it’s the only way of possibly (possibly) stopping this sickening genocide by the arrogant and creepy psychopathic Zionists. Protests have been futile, lawfare nope, UN resolutions and ICJ rulings nope.

  6. Vera Gottlieb
    February 27, 2024 at 10:13

    I am reaching the point where I am HATING these murderous PIGS. Today not many left in israel who experienced the Holocaust in person – the younger generations have no idea what it was to live through those murderous times. FOR SHAME, ISRAEL…FOR SHAME!

  7. Dienne
    February 27, 2024 at 10:07

    Oh come on. Anyone who has the slightest understanding of what’s going on knows that Israel has already killed at least that many in four months. There were 2.3 million people in Gaza, now there are about 1.5 million in Rafah. Where did the other 800,000 go? Sure, some are still elsewhere in Gaza and some have gotten out, but that doesn’t account for anywhere near 800,000.

    Those left in Gaza are under constant bombardment. There is almost no food getting into Gaza. The water is polluted. People are living in extreme conditions of over-crowding with almost no sewage facilities. Nearly all hospitals are completely non-functional. People are dying of attacks, wounds, starvation, dehydration, disease and exposure every single minute. 85,000 is a drop in the bucket. Israel will kill at least 850,000 in the next six months.

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