Gaza death toll: UN says death toll unchanged after conflict


The United Nations clarified on Monday that the overall death toll in Gaza, counted by Gaza’s health ministry, remained unchanged at more than 35,000 since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas on October 7.

The clarification comes after the UN humanitarian agency OCHA (United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs) released a report on May 8 with revised data on the number of Palestinians killed in the war. The UN agency has almost halved the number of women and children believed to have been killed in the war in its report.

The number was reduced because the UN says it relies on the full documentation of the names and other identifying details of the dead women and children rather than the total number of women and children killed. Bodies arriving at hospitals will be counted in the overall death toll, the ministry says.

United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq said the Ministry of Health in Gaza recently released two separate death tolls — the overall death toll and the number of identified deaths. In the UN report, the total number of deaths (such as name and date of birth) was documented, leading to confusion.

According to Haq, the ministry released 24,686 fully identified deaths out of a total of 34,622 deaths reported in Gaza as of April 30. The fully identified death toll includes 7,797 children, 4,959 women, 1,924 elderly and 10,006 men. The spokesman said, citing the Gaza Ministry of Health.

Haq added that the health authority in Gaza is still in the process of documenting the full identification details of the victims.

Two officials from the Palestinian Ministry of Health told CNN that although the ministry keeps separate death tolls for identified and unidentified people, the total number of those killed remains unchanged.

Of the total death toll, around 10,000 people are still missing and trapped under the rubble, officials added.

Israel launched its military offensive on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, killed at least 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped more than 250 others. Israel’s months-long blockade of the Palestinian territory has left large swathes of Gaza in ruins and put the entire population of more than 2.2 million people at risk of famine.

CNN has seen a daily report from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, which matches the number published by OCHA in a redacted version. A total of 15,103 children and 9,961 women have been killed in Gaza since October 7, the Gaza Ministry of Health said in its latest report.

Both UN and US officials have previously rated figures from the Ministry of Health in Gaza as reliable.

CNN could not independently verify the ministry’s numbers. The ministry does not distinguish between casualties among militants and civilians.

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