Gaza’s Health Ministry has published the names of more than 6,700 Palestinians killed since Israel launched its assault on the Gaza Strip three weeks ago. The 200-plus page report lists the name, age, gender and ID number of each victim of Israel’s bombardment. The toll does not include the names of 281 people whose bodies could not be identified, bringing the toll to more than 7,000, nor does it include more than 1,500 Palestinians missing and believed to be trapped under rubble. Two thousand six hundred sixty-five children are listed among the dead. The ministry made the names public after President Biden on Wednesday cast doubt on Gaza’s official death toll.
President Joe Biden: “I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed. I’m sure innocents have been killed, and it’s the price of waging a war.”
Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch said his organization has always found data from the Gaza Ministry of Health reliable. He said that until quite recently even the U.S. State Department cited the ministry’s data without caveat.
Omar Shakir: “I think it’s worth noting that this creates a fog of war, a fog of misinformation, which can provide political cover for more large-scale atrocities to take place. The conversation should focus on how world leaders can stop further mass atrocities, and not nitpicking whether a number that’s generally proven to be accurate may be a little bit off.”