Gaza, (Palestine Telegraph) -With a ceasefire holding at least temporarily, a detailed assessment of the damage now is emerging — showing the true scale of the Israeli destruction of the Gaza Strip. According to the Gaza office of the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights, the numbers for the 30-day assault paint a shocking picture, and will only soar higher as bodies are dug out from the rubble and the people venture back into hard-hit areas to assess the full damage.
The totals to date:
- 1,875 Palestinians (426 children) were murdered, of whom 79% were civilians, compared to 67 Israelis (4% civilian).
- The deadliest days were Aug. 1 (152 Palestinians killed), July 29 (145) and July 30 (143).
- The highest death toll occurred in the Khan Yunis area in southern Gaza (531, including the massacre in Khuza’a), followed closely by Gaza City (408, including the mass killing in the Shejaya neighborhood) and Rafah (405).
- Among the dead are 16 health care personnel, 12 journalists and nine UNRWA employees.
- 9,563 Palestinians are wounded, flooding over-taxed hospitals – including 2,877 children.
- 475,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes due to Israeli threats or home destruction, with about half seeking refuge in UN facilities. Others sheltered with friends and relatives – with multiple families often staying in one home.
Buildings and Equipment
- 10,604 homes were either destroyed or damaged.
- 315 businesses, factories and other places of industrial or commercial activity were damaged, as well as 19 financial institutions.
- 188 schools and six universities were damaged, compromising the education of 252,000 students.
- 132 mosques and churches were destroyed or damaged, as well as 11 cemeteries.
- 52 fishing boats were damaged, affecting 3,000 individuals dependent on them for a living, along with 22 nonprofit offices that provide charitable services.
- 23 hospitals and primary-care clinics, along with 12 ambulances, were damaged. Another 34 health facilities were forced to close due to their dangerous locations and a severe shortage of staff.
- 19 electricity-generation plants and eight water-supply and waste treatment facilities were hit, threatening the health and safety of nearly all of Gaza’s 1.8 million population.
- Direct economic losses total an estimated $2 billion.
- Lost work opportunities and other indirect costs add up to another $440 million.
“But the numbers do not tell the full, or even the real, story,” says Ramy Abdu, president of the Euro-Mid Observer. “Behind these statistics are pain, anguish, desperation and – especially for the children – a wide range of psychological after-effects from trauma. The Palestinians of Gaza will need significant, sustained help with rebuilding and healing, and the international community must both step up to the plate and hold Israel to account.”