Gaza death toll, OHCHR - WHO 14 May 2024
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Edited News | WHO , OHCHR

Gaza death toll, OHCHR - WHO 14 May 2024

Gaza: majority of Palestinian victims still women and children – UN humanitarians

In Gaza, as more Palestinian casualties of the Israeli military offensive are identified by the enclave’s health authorities, UN humanitarians reiterated on Tuesday that a high proportion of women and children were indeed among the 35,000 dead.

Since the beginning of the war in the enclave triggered by Hamas’ deadly 7 October attacks in Israel, the United Nations has consistently relied on casualty figures from the Gaza Ministry of Health, noting that independent verification is not possible. Last week, the health authorities updated the breakdown of the figures based on the number of bodies identified, but the UN has maintained that neither the overall death toll nor the proportion of women and children killed had gone down.

Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), told the Press in Geneva: “We're basically talking about 35,000 people who are dead. And really every life matters, doesn't it? We know that many and many of those are women and children, and there are thousands missing under the rubble.”

Speaking on behalf of the UN’s humanitarian affairs coordination office, OCHA, Jens Laerke clarified that “what has been provided additionally by the Ministry of Health is more detailed information about a subsection of the overall tally” of the 35,000 dead.

Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson for the UN World Health Organization (WHO), explained that as the Gaza Ministry of Health “identifies every single body… gives names to people to give closure to their family, their friends - that's when these figures get updated and the data get updated”.

Some 25,000 have been identified, he said, calling the growing number of identified bodies “a step forward” and “a typical and very normal process in any conflict”.

Among the 10,000 remaining dead, some are not reachable, including those “in mass graves”. These individuals need to be brought back to a health centre or morgue for identification, Mr. Lindmeier said, insisting that “every single of these figures is a person with a name, a history and a family”.

The WHO spokesperson also warned against getting “sidetracked” by the death toll updates and breakdowns.

Two recent OCHA situation reports have been widely “scrutinized” for changes in the proportion of women and children killed, he said. However, if one applies the breakdown by gender and age of the 25,000 bodies now identified to the remaining unidentified 10,000 casualties, women and children still represent about 60 per cent.

The UN health agency spokesperson also pointed out that under collapsed houses, there is a “high likelihood that you find rather women and children because they are the ones typically staying at home while the men are out looking for food, looking for business, looking for any supplies for their families”.

Mr. Lindmeier further insisted on the challenges of identification in a “difficult conflict” where people have been “displaced five, six, seven times”, and where, in certain areas, “not a single health worker, no ambulance” can venture to recover dead bodies.

“Once everybody is recovered, you may have a chance to have a name to every person,” he said. “We need a ceasefire now to be able to recover those dead.”

-          ENDS -

STORY: Gaza death toll: OHCHR - WHO

TRT: 2:18”

SOURCE: UNTV CH 

RESTRICTIONS: NONE 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS 

ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 

DATELINE: 14 MAY 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND 

 

1. Exterior medium shot: UN flag alley  

2. Wide shot: speakers at the podium of the press conference 

3. SOUNDBITE (English) – Liz Throssell, spokesperson, UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR): “We're basically talking about 35,000 people who are dead. And really every life matters, doesn't it? And we know that many and many of those are women and children, and there are thousands missing under the rubble.”

4. Wide lateral shot: Speakers at podium from behind; journalists in the press room

5. SOUNDBITE (English) – Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO): “As the Ministry of Health goes forward and identifies every single body, every single dead, gives names to people to give closure to their family, their friends - that's when these figures get updated and the data get updated. Now 25,000 have been identified, 10,000 are still missing. And if you add and if you look at the calculation of the figures, you will come to the point that you still have about 60 per cent of the casualties being women and children.”

6. Wide lateral shot: Speakers at podium from behind; journalists in the press room

7. SOUNDBITE (English) – Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):  The fact that we now have 25,000 identified people is a step forward.”

8. Wide shot: Journalists in the press room  

9. SOUNDBITE (English) – Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO): “This is a typical and very normal process in any conflict, especially in such a difficult conflict where people have been on the move all the time. They've been displaced five, six, seven times.”

10. Medium lateral shot: Speaker on screen in the press room; journalists in the press room

11. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO): “Under the collapsed houses, for example, there's a high likelihood that you find rather women and children because they are the ones typically staying at home while the men are out looking for food, looking for business, looking for any supplies for their families.”

12. Medium shot: Journalists in the press room  

13. SOUNDBITE (English) - Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO): “There are no go zones. There are areas where not a single health care worker can go, no ambulance can go. People can't go to retrieve their dead or their family members. So let's keep that in mind. There are still people out there missing. There are still people under the rubble. Once everybody is recovered, you may have a chance to have a name to every person that have precise figures. But one thing is clear here. It's a name to every person. And we need a ceasefire now to be able to recover those dead.”

16. Medium shot: journalists in the press room

17. Medium shot: Journalists, cameraman and people in the gallery of the press room   

18. Medium shot: journalists in the press room.

 


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