100,000 killed or injured in Gaza: How many Palestinian lives are too many?

The death toll in Gaza has hit another horrifying milestone today, with a staggering 30,000 Palestinians killed by Israel’s military onslaught, the majority women and children.

The International Court of Justice indicated in January that there is a plausible risk of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. As the international community fails to bring the violence to an end, a pressing question echoes: Where is the red line, and how many more civilians will be killed before world leaders take decisive action to enforce an immediate and permanent ceasefire? 

Israel’s indiscriminate attacks on civilian infrastructure, including homes, schools, and hospitals, have left Gaza’s entire population of more than 2.3 million in despair, struggling to survive amid the ruins of their communities. More than 70,000 Palestinians have been injured since 7 October 2023, meaning that over 100,000 people have now been killed or injured in 140 days of Israel’s offensive. At least a further 7000 are estimated to lie dead beneath the rubble. 

Melanie Ward, CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians, said: “Palestinians in Gaza continue to be stripped of their lifelines. We are devastated by the 30,000 killed – and this is not just a number. Every single life taken was a person with dreams and hopes for the future, and left loved ones behind with no time to mourn their death. One in every 23 people has been killed or injured in Gaza. Everyone has been tragically affected in so many ways, including our own dear staff; their lives will never be the same again.” 

“The scale of the humanitarian crisis being inflicted on Palestinians is unprecedented. The international community must ask itself: Where is the red line? How many more civilians will be killed before world leaders find it within themselves to take meaningful action to stop this?” 

A quarter of people are at risk of imminent famine and one in six children in the north are acutely malnourished. This decline in a population’s nutritional status is unprecedented globally; Gaza’s children are being starved at the fastest rate the world has ever seen. Already, the Director of Kamal Adwan Hospital reports that seven children have died as a result of malnutrition. Despite this, the volume of aid allowed into Gaza by the Israelis this month is only around half of that allowed in January, and aid convoys have been attacked

Infectious diseases are spreading rapidly and there is little access to medical care, with no hospitals fully functioning across the territory. At least 90% of children under five are affected by one or more infectious disease, while at the Al Helal Al Emirati maternity hospital in Rafah, one of few functioning hospitals, four or five newborns are having to share one incubator.  

If the Israeli military invades Rafah, this will undoubtedly cause a bloodbath and overwhelm the handful of partially functioning hospitals. It also raises the very real risk of mass displacement of Palestinians into Egypt. MAP’s team on the ground continues to work tirelessly – including in the north of Gaza - to provide medical aid, emergency relief, and support to their communities who are living every day under bombardment and siege.

But Gaza’s healthcare system is being systematically dismantled and the humanitarian system is barely functioning. Without an immediate ceasefire, researchers project that tens of thousands more Palestinians are likely to be killed over the next six months.  

Only urgent international action can stop this from happening and uphold international law. 


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