Continued Israeli assault could kill more than 80,000 in Gaza by August: report

Continued Israeli assault could kill more than 80,000 in Gaza by August: report
Health projections show that 'thousands of excess deaths' will occur in Gaza even with a ceasefire, and 75,000 people could die if Israel escalates attacks.
2 min read
22 February, 2024
Over 29,000 Palestinians have already been killed in Israel's war on Gaza. (Photo by Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images)

A continued Israeli offensive on Gaza could kill more than 80,000 people in the next six months, according to new health data published this week.

The report, which presents the projected health impacts of the war until 6 August 2024, was authored by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre and the John Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health. 

The researchers said their estimates are based "on a range of publicly available data from the current and past Gaza crises, data from similar crises, and peer-reviewed published research".

"Over the next six months we project that, in the absence of epidemics, 6,550 excess deaths would occur under the ceasefire scenario, climbing to 58,260 under the status quo scenario and 74,290 under the escalation scenario," the Gaza Projections project wrote in the report.

This catastrophic death toll could increase further if epidemics occur – a likely scenario given that Gaza’s health, water and sanitation infrastructure has been severely destroyed by Israeli bombing.

This would bring the total death toll to 85,750 deaths if Israeli attacks escalate further and epidemics break out – the report's worst-case scenario.

If the status quo is maintained, 58,260 Palestinians are expected to die in the coming six months and with epidemics that number would climb to 66,720.

The researchers also warned that "thousands of excess deaths" will continue to occur "even in the best-case ceasefire scenario, (…) 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 Israeli offensive on Gaza has already killed over 29,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children, and wounded nearly 70,000 more. Gaza’s pre-war population was around 2 million people.

There are fears of famine and major disease outbreaks decimating the civilian population in Gaza, most of which have been made homeless due to homes being bombed, cities being invaded, and neighbourhoods being expelled.