The Humanitarian Catastrophe in Gaza Can Only Get Worse

This week, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Humanitarian Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine released a report that attempts to project how many people will die in Gaza in the next six months. The authors estimated what are called excess deaths, which includes deaths owing to Israel’s war campaign directly and also those caused indirectly, owing to factors such as disease and a lack of access to medical care. They modelled for three possibilities: if the next six months of the war are similar to the first three months, if the war escalates, or if there’s a ceasefire. If the war stays its course without escalation until early August—with Israel bombing densely populated areas, and blockading food and medicine—the researchers project somewhere between 58,260 and 66,720 excess deaths in addition to the more than twenty-eight thousand deaths that the Gaza Ministry of Health reported in mid-February. (That number is currently more than twenty-nine thousand.) If the war escalates, the authors project that that death toll could rise to between 74,290 and 85,750 excess deaths over the next six months. 


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