UN says Gaza casualties ‘likely much higher’ than reported figures

A United Nations official has confirmed that the actual number of casualties in Israel’s war on Gaza is “likely much higher” than the last reported figure of over 11,000 deaths due to a lack of updates following the collapse of communication networks in the besieged territory.

“Casualties continue to mount, with the dead reportedly exceeding 11,000 people – the majority of them children and women. The actual total, however, is likely much higher as figures have not been updated for five days due to a collapse of communication networks in Gaza,” stated Martin Griffiths, under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, at a General Assembly meeting on Gaza’s humanitarian situation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has confirmed that Tel Aviv’s attempts to minimize casualties in Gaza were “not successful”.

In an interview with CBS News, Netanyahu was asked about Israel’s killing of thousands of Palestinians as it retaliates for the October 7 attack by Hamas.

“The other thing that I can say is that we’ll try to finish that job with minimal civilian casualties. That’s what we’re trying to do: minimal civilian casualties. But unfortunately, we’re not successful,” Netanyahu said, also adding that he blamed Hamas for the large number of civilian deaths in Gaza.

The health ministry in Gaza has reported that 11,500 people had been killed, including 4,700 children. Its figures only include people recorded dead at hospitals and is almost certainly an undercount, not including the deceased who did not pass through a hospital or whose bodies have not been recovered from bombed sites.

The UN Security Council on Wednesday adopted its first resolution since the outbreak of the war, calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses” in Gaza.

The US and UK abstained from the vote because the resolution did not condemn Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel. Russia also abstained because the resolution did not demand a humanitarian ceasefire.

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