WHO defends Gaza death toll figures following revision

Palestinian medics treat a girl wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip at the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza, May 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramez Habboub)
Palestinian medics treat a girl wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip at the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza, May 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramez Habboub)

The World Health Organization voices full confidence in the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry death toll figures after Israel questioned a change in the numbers.

Gaza’s health ministry last week updated its breakdown of the total fatalities of around 35,000, saying that around 25,000 of those have so far been fully identified. UN agencies have republished these figures.

“The fact we now have 25,000 identified people is a step forward,” says WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier at a Geneva press briefing, saying that there is “nothing wrong” with health ministry data.

The new data released last week attributes close to 10,000 reported deaths as coming from “reliable media sources,” and also reduces by more than half the number of women and children that it previously said had been killed during the war.

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