The Israel government is directly causing thousands of deaths in Gaza. But, the biggest contributor to inflicting death in Gaza will likely be the Israel government causing the loss of necessities for health, including nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and medical aid. The deaths total could reach within a year up to a quarter of the Gaza population. That is around half a million people, the vast majority of whom are noncombatants.
Devi Sridhar laid out in a Friday The Guardian editorial how the continuation of current Israel government actions will keep causing living conditions of people in Gaza to be dismal. She wrote:
Tragically, the nearly unprecedented death and injury we have seen so far is likely to only be the beginning. From looking at similar conflicts across the world, public health experts know that we are likely to see more children dying from preventable disease than from bullets and bombs. While the Israeli government has spoken about safe zones for families to flee to, these aren’t anywhere near what we would consider safe public health zones. They don’t have clean water, functional sanitation and toilets, enough food, or trained medical staff with medicine and equipment. These are the basic needs that any human, especially babies and children, need to stay healthy and alive.
A result of the continuation of this situation for a year, suggests Sridhar is deaths at a monumental scale:
Ultimately, unless something changes, the world faces the prospect of almost a quarter of Gaza’s 2 million population – close to half- a million human beings – dying within a year. These would be largely deaths from preventable health causes and the collapse of the medical system. It’s a crude estimate, but one that is data-driven, using the terrifyingly real numbers of deaths in previous and comparable conflicts.
The clearly visible extreme destruction brought by the Israel military in Gaza has been directly producing a death toll that is shocking in its size. Yet, this death toll can be expected to be dwarfed by the deaths of people who suffer in the terrible conditions that are being created by the Israel government for those who survive the direct military action.
This extreme situation in Gaza is not just an unfortunate and unavoidable consequence of war. Rather, as documented by many observers — John Mearsheimer for example — its existence is a key goal of the Israel government, both proclaimed by government officials and pursued conspicuously.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.