Gaza death toll nears 21,000 as Israel vows 'many more months' of retaliation

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulDec 27, 2023 | 15:17

Gaza death toll nears 21,000 as Israel vows 'many more months' of retaliation

In the last 24 hours, Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry reported a grim toll of at least 241 people killed. This means a total of 20,915 Palestinians have lost their lives over a span of more than 11 weeks of war with Israel.

A majority of the unimaginable death toll has been reported to comprise children and women, with the disproportionate impact of the Israeli military operation on civilian lives becoming increasingly apparent, raising serious concerns about the ethics of Israel's actions.


The international community is grappling with the challenge of obtaining accurate information, given the conflicting claims made by both sides involved in the conflict. 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the conflict as a "grave crime" against his people, underscoring the severity of the situation. Abbas's accusations against the United States for prolonging the war by vetoing UN draft resolutions calling for a ceasefire carry weight, reflecting the crude imbalance of powers at play amidst Israel’s relentless retaliation.

On the Israeli side, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi's acknowledgment that the conflict with Hamas is expected to persist for "many more months" raises questions about the Israeli military's strategy and its commitment to minimise civilian casualties. 

"There are no shortcuts when it comes to thoroughly dismantling a terrorist organisation except being stubborn and determined in the fighting. There are no magic solutions."

The continued use of force, especially in densely populated areas, calls into question the proportionality and necessity of Israel's actions. The IDF's determination to arrest or eliminate the Hamas leadership, even at the cost of an extended timeline, prompts scrutiny over the potential human cost and the impact on regional stability.


Reports of Egypt proposing a ceasefire plan, including the phased release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners, highlight the international community's efforts to broker a truce. However, the lack of commitment from Israel towards a lasting ceasefire raises concerns about the prospects for peace and the prioritisation of military objectives over civilian lives.

As the death toll continues to climb, it seems like someone finally noticed that maybe, just maybe, Israel's military actions deserve a smidgen of scrutiny in light of the groundbreaking revelation that civilians are apparently bearing the brunt of it all. The international community will surely get right on that, because evidently they've been doing such a stellar job so far.

Last updated: December 27, 2023 | 15:17
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