On January 22nd, media organizations across the globe reported the milestone of 25,000 Palestinian deaths at the hands of the IDF, (Israeli Defense Forces), since Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7th.
Sources for Palestian Casualty Figures
Palestinian casualty figures originate with the Hamas Ministry of Health in Gaza, but are being used and accepted by the U.S. State Department, Human Rights Watch, and various officials and agencies of the United Nations, including the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
One Catholic source places the number of fatalities higher. Father Ibrahim Faltas, the Vicar for the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, believes the true figure is closer to 30,000. According to Father Faltas, some 10,000 children have been killed and another 40,000 have been orphaned.
The Hamas Ministry of Health does not distinguish between civilian and military casualties among Palestinians.
The Israelis, and the Israelis only, are claiming that 9,000 Palestinian fatalities—35% of the total deaths—are those of combatants.
Unprecedented Proportion of Civilian Casualties
Others dispute this claim, with varying estimates of 60 to 90 percent civilian fatalities. Even if Israeli figures are taken at face value, it means that the IDF is killing nearly two civilians for every armed combatant which it kills, a ratio unprecedented in modern warfare.
This means that the percentage of civilian fatalities suffered by the Palestinians in the last three and one half months, 65%, is nearly double that suffered by the Germans and the Italians in the entire Second World War, and more than double that suffered by the Japanese in the same conflict.
This statistic is all the more astonishing when one considers that each one of those countries was subjected to a protracted campaign of strategic bombing by the Allies, in an era when aerial bombardment was far less precise than it is today.
The percentage of civilian fatalities in World War II for Nazi Germany was 37 percent, for Fascist Italy 34 percent, and for Imperial Japan 31 percent, respectively.
Damning Information from Israeli Source
n an analysis published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Professor Yagil Levy stated that with a civilian death rate in Gaza of 61 percent, “The ratio [of civilian to military fatalities] is significantly higher than the average civilian toll in all the conflicts around the world from the second world war to the 1990s.”
“Without Parallel in Recent History”
2024 Population of Gaza Strip—2,375,000
As of January 23, 2024:
1.) Total Palestinian casualties—88,844
Total fatalities as a percentage of the population of Gaza—1.1%
Total casualties as a percentage of the population of Gaza—3.75%
Percentage of women and children casualties—69%
2.) Total Palestinian displaced persons—1,900,000
Total displaced persons as a percentage of the population of Gaza—80%
3.) Total Palestinians with exhausted food supplies/facing catastrophic starvation—577,000
Percentage of Palestinian population facing starvation—24.3%
4.) Total Palestinians suffering from infectious diseases—350,000
Percentage of Palestinian population which is sick—15%
5.) Total housing units damaged or destroyed in Gaza—360,000
Percentage of homes damaged or destroyed—60%
6.) Total United Nations worker (UNRWA, WHO, UNPD) fatalities—153
7.) Total journalist fatalities—117
8.) Total all non-Israeli Gaza fatalities—25,760
9.) Total Palestinian casualties, West Bank—4,708
Total Palestinian fatalities, West Bank—360
Total Palestinian injuries, West Bank—4,348
10.) Total Palestinian casualties, Gaza and West Bank—93,552
Total Palestinian fatalities, Gaza and West Bank—25,850
Total Palestinian injured and wounded, Gaza and West Bank—67,702
11.) Total Israeli Casualties, Gaza and Green Line Israel—8,293
Total Israeli Fatalities—1,413
(504 soldiers, 69 police and security officers, 770 civilians, 70 Israeli Arabs)
Total Israeli Injured and Wounded—6,632
Total Israeli Hostages Taken—248
Total fatalities as a percentage of the population of Israel—.015%
Total casualties as a percentage of the population of Israel—.09%
12.) Total Israeli displaced persons—200,000
Total displaced persons as a percentage of the population of Israel—2%
Kýrie, eléison! Christe, eléison! Kýrie, eléison!
Our Lady of Palestine, Pray for Us!
Queen of Peace, Pray for Us!
Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for Us!
C. Joseph Doyle is the Executive Director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts. Since 2019, Doyle has also served as Director of Communications for the Friends of Saint Benedict Center. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Catholicism.