The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Death Count Grows as Famine Looms

Mar 25, 2024

The United Nations and aid groups on the ground in Gaza are reporting that vulnerable children in the territory are starving to death, along with vulnerable elderly.

The death toll in Gaza from the Health Ministry just hit a horrific 32,141 on March 23. More than two-thirds of those recorded deaths are women and children. Because this figure only includes those who died at a hospital or whose bodies were brought to a morgue, it is certainly an undercount.

The fact that over 65,000 tons of bombs and missiles have been unleashed on the 2.3 million imprisoned inhabitants of Gaza would indicate the death count is likely much higher.

With only 12 hospitals “partially functioning,” out of the original 36, the ability to record fatalities lessens. The death toll largely does not include those dying of disease. The official count also does not include those buried under rubble or hastily buried near where they died.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Center of Humanitarian Health recently used past studies of deaths associated with war to project future deaths in Gaza.

It is known that even after war ends, more will die in the future from wound complications, from infectious disease, from maternal and infant mortality, from untreated cancer and diabetes, and from unexploded ordnances.

The Johns Hopkins study estimated 15,000 more deaths if the war stopped tomorrow. And as high as 85,000 more deaths if the war continues six more months. These excess deaths would never have happened except for this war on the people of Gaza.

One health administration official in Gaza quoted on National Public Radio in February grimly explained, “The only way to really know how many people have died is to count the number of people still alive—compared with the population of Gaza before Oct.7.”