ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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IDF officials: 15,000 likely killed in Gaza since start of war, 5,000 of them are Hamas

Smoke rises following Israeli strikes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, early on December 4, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)
Smoke rises following Israeli strikes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, early on December 4, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

Reports citing anonymous Israeli officials in both AP and AFP say that the IDF believes the overall Gaza death toll claimed by Hamas is fairly accurate, and that more civilians have been killed than Hamas operatives. The comments appeared to emerge from an off-record briefing for foreign journalists conducted by military officials.

An unnamed IDF official cited by AP says that at least 15,000 Palestinians in Gaza have died since the outbreak of the war on October 7. The army says it estimates more than 5,000 of the Gaza deaths to be Hamas terrorists.

AFP quotes an unnamed Israeli official: “I’m not saying it’s not bad that we have a ratio of two to one,” noting that the use of human shields was part of Hamas’s “core strategy.”

“Hopefully, [the ratio] will be much lower” in the coming phase of the war, the official adds, noting that “in the south, because we have basically doubled the population, operations are much more precise.”

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said earlier today that around 15,900 people have been killed so far in the Strip.

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