After its statistics were questioned, the Gaza health ministry released evidence of a heavy death toll among children.
At least 1,500 children under the age of 10, including 600 under age 4, have been killed by Israeli bombing in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the list of dead released on Thursday by the health ministry. More than 100 of those were less than a year old.
The release of the list — including name, age, gender and ID number for 6,747 people — was seen as a rebuttal by the Gaza health ministry to those who deny that about 7,000 people have been killed during Israel’s bombing campaign against Gaza.
One of those deniers is President Biden, who says he has “no confidence” in the tally by the health ministry.
Last week Biden said he had “no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed.”
(Anyone who dared to question the truth of the Israeli government’s casualty figures for the Hamas attack on Oct. 7 would be instantly denounced as a monstrous antisemite).
Biden is not unduly concerned about the Israeli slaughter in Gaza, stating that it was necessary: “I’m sure innocents have been killed, and it’s the price of waging a war.”
Human Rights Watch, a leading international rights group that has conducted its own investigations of Israeli bombing in Gaza in the past, has found death tolls that are consistent with the Gaza ministry’s, according to the group’s Israel and Palestine director.
The high number of Palestinian children reported killed — about 40 percent of the total — is broadly in line with the high share of children in the Gazan population. Children make up about 47 percent of Gaza’s population, according to UNICEF, a higher share than most countries in the world. Only Afghanistan and parts of sub-Saharan Africa have a higher share of children.
In total, thus far this October, 2,665 Palestinian children under the age of 18 have been killed by the Israelis and 2,902 women. The toll has been increasing in recent days.
The health ministry said the list did not include an additional 281 people who had been killed but could not be identified, bringing the total number to 7,028 dead. Also excluded were those believed to be under the bombing rubble and considered missing.