DECEMBER 9, 2022
Palestine News

At least 10,000 Gazans trapped under neighborhood ruins

At least 10,000 Gazans trapped under neighborhood ruins

Gaza’s Civil Defense, in a statement released on 30 April, estimates that there are roughly 10,000 bodies of Palestinians stuck under the rubble since the beginning of Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

The general director said that these missing bodies are not included in the death toll numbers issued by the Ministry of Health as their bodies have not been brought and counted in the hospitals. This brings the current number of Palestinians killed to over 44,000.

According to the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) numbers published on 23 April, the current death toll is at 42,510.

The Euro-Med figures include those missing after being detained and forcibly disappeared by Israeli forces and those who have been trapped under rubble for over two weeks.

The general directorate of Gaza’s civil defense said that it received many calls from people volunteering to remove the bodies of Palestinians from under the rubble to give them a proper burial.

Al-Jazeera journalist Anas al-Sharif documented the efforts of civil defense crews which took on the task of recovering bodies from under the rubble.

“Efforts by civil defense teams and volunteers began to recover the bodies of martyrs from under the rubble of their homes,” Sharif said in a video posted on social media from inside what remained of a building subjected to Israeli attacks late last year. “It is estimated that there are more than fifty martyrs under the rubble of the house.”

Sharif continued by saying, “Civil defense personnel face great difficulties due to the lack of advanced equipment, which forces them to use primitive tools in search and recovery operations for the decomposed bodies of the martyrs.”

Gaza’s civil defense said that with the methods it is forced to use to clear the debris, it will take two to three years to search through 37 tons of rubble.

Pehr Lodhammar, the former United Nationals Mine Action Service chief for Iraq, says that, on average, there are 300 kilograms of rubble per square meter of land in Gaza. “Based on the current [amount] of debris in Gaza, with 100 trucks, we are talking about 14 years of work … to remove it,” he said. 

The General Directorate also warned that the accumulation of bodies risks the spread of disease in the already-dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, especially as summer approaches.

According to the latest numbers, at least 34,535 people have been killed as a result of Israel’s bombing campaign, this includes over 14,500 children and 8,400 women. Over 77,000 people are reported missing. 


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