Shortly after weekend reports of Israeli tanks having reached the center of the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Monday issued a new casualty count of its soldiers slain since the ground offensive began.
Seven new deaths were announced, which includes six killed Sunday while fighting in the southern Gaza Strip, bringing the official IDF death toll to 104. Also on Sunday the IDF for the first time issued an official tally of troops wounded in action, saying that 1,593 Israeli soldiers have been wounded since Oct.7.
However, Haaretz alongside other publications have speculated that the real casualty figure is much higher, with Haaretz in particular reporting that accessible hospital data points to much higher than published troop casualties (possibly double) from the Gaza operations.
“The military noted that 255 soldiers had suffered serious injuries, 446 moderate injuries and 892 minor injuries. The army released the information on the numbers of wounded soldiers and their condition after Haaretz reported two weeks ago that it had been refusing to do so,” reported Haaretz.
But an examination of hospital records by the Israeli newspaper showed “a considerable and unexplained gap between the data reported by the military and that from the hospitals.”
“For example, Barzilai Medical Centre in Ashkelon alone reports treating 1,949 soldiers hurt in the war since October 7 (out of 3,117 injured people treated there during the war), whereas the army reports a total of 1,593 wounded soldiers. Assuta Ashdod reportedly treated 178 patients, Ichilov (Tel Aviv) 148, Rambam (Haifa) 181, Hadassah (Jerusalem) 209 and Sha’arei Tzedek (Jerusalem) 139,” said the newspaper.
Haaretz continued, “Another 1,000 or so soldiers were treated at Be’er Sheva’s Soroka Medical Centre, while another 650 were treated at Sheba Medical Centre in Tel-Hashomer. This is a partial list, as the data does not include soldiers currently in rehab wards who have already been counted as wounded upon arrival at emergency wards and inpatient wards.”
The Haaretz report concluded that the number of wounded soldiers are in actuality at least twice as high as the army’s numbers. This would put the true figure in the thousands. Other Israeli publications have pointed to further indicators that casualties are bigger than what’s being published…
Israel’s YNet on Gaza losses: “More than 2,000 new IDF disabled since the beginning of the war: ‘We have not been through anything like this.’
Every day the rehab wing takes in about 60 new wounded, and the tsunami of trauma is still ahead of us.” https://t.co/XxIs27Rxnt
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) December 11, 2023
There are regional reports of 60 IDF wounded per day coming into Israel’s hospital system:
Limor Luria, deputy director general and head of the ministry’s Rehabilitation Department, told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that at least 2,000 Israeli soldiers had been declared disabled, with health officials “in a hurry to release the wounded so it can admit new patients”.
“We have never faced something like this,” Luria said, adding that 5,000 soldiers had been wounded since the start of the fighting.
“Who will help them shower or get around the house? Most of the victims suffered serious injuries, and the state needs to understand that there is an arena here that requires a new distribution of injuries.”
Over the weekend a Hamas spokesman claimed that the group has destroyed or disabled at least 180 Israeli personnel carriers, tanks and bulldozers. Hamas has been regularly issuing combat videos which appear to prove that it has indeed been in at least some instances taking out Israeli armor and groups of IDF infantry.
The IDF has conducted a supply airdrop to its troops in Khan Younis. This its first airdrop to an active military zone since the 2006 war in Lebanon…
The IDF says it has airdropped some 7 tons of equipment to hundreds of troops of the 98th Division’s Commando Brigade who are operating in the Khan Younis area of southern Gaza.
It says this is the first time since the 2006 2nd Lebanon War that the IDF is airdropping equipment… pic.twitter.com/4vugeg1y2D
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) December 11, 2023
Gaza civilians meanwhile are running out of options for safe areas or shelters. Many say they have nowhere to go, and can’t escape the IDF aerial onslaught, also as Hamas rockets continue to be fired on southern Israel.
The IDF is reportedly trying push Palestinian civilians toward a coastal designated “safe zone” in al-Mawasi (in the south). But the small tent city is already on the verge of collapse, also as it lacks basic necessities including running water.
Israel’s military has published a series of videos and images showing the mass arrest of what it says are Hamas members, which has unleashed international criticism and outrage given many of those rounded up are believed to be civilians:
⚡️Among the civilians being kidnapped from northern Gaza is a woman (wearing purple) pic.twitter.com/kdMwMreNnF
— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) December 10, 2023
The Associated Press has written of the area that it has “no running water or bathrooms, assistance, and international humanitarian groups are nowhere to be found, and the tents provide little protection from the coming winter’s cool, rainy weather.” Speaking of the internally displaced, the report noted: “Some don’t even have enough materials to build a tent.”