Six months of blood: the frightening human toll of the Gaza war. Israel withdraws ground troops from the southern Strip


By John

The Israeli army has announced that it has withdrawn all ground troops fighting from the southern Strip, after about 4 months of heavy fighting. The media reported this, explaining that only the Nahal Brigade remained on site with the task of keeping safe the so-called 'Netzarim Corridor' which crosses the Strip, along the coast from the northern border, near Kibbutz Beeri, to the south. The corridor in question allows the army – according to the media – to conduct raids in the north and center of the Strip, prevents displaced Palestinians from returning to the north of the Palestinian enclave and allows humanitarian organizations to deliver aid directly to northern Gaza .

Netanyahu, Israel one step away from victory in Gaza

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was one step closer to victory in the Gaza war and promised there would be no ceasefire until Hamas freed all the hostages. «We are one step away from victory. But the price we have paid is painful and heartbreaking,” he said in a speech on the occasion of the six months of war that broke out on October 7. «There will be no ceasefire without the return of the hostages. It just won't happen,” he added. The prime minister also made an appeal “for the unity of the country”, denouncing, in reference to the demonstrations across Israel against the government's policy, that “in these hours an extreme and violent minority is trying to drag the country into division”. And “There is nothing our enemies want more. They would like internal division and gratuitous hatred to stop us just before victory.” Netanyahu did not spare Tehran a broadside: «This war has revealed to the world what Israel has always known: Iran was behind the attack on us through its proxies.. Since October 7, we have been attacked on many fronts by Iran's affiliates: Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, the militias in Iraq and Syria.” «Israel – he concluded – is ready, in defense and attack, for any attempt to hit us, from anywhere».

Six months of blood in Gaza, the numbers of the war

After six months the war in Gaza, the bloodiest ever, has had a frightening human toll. At least 33,137 people have been killed in the besieged Palestinian territory in Israel's retaliation campaign for the October 7 Hamas attack, according to Gaza's Hamas-run Health Ministry. Hamas' unprecedented raid in southern Israel killed 1,170 Israelis and foreigners, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli data.
While Hamas has refused to say how many fighters it has lost, Israel claims it has killed more than 12,000. Like many of the war's casualty figures, this one is impossible to independently confirm.

The Hamas attack on October 7 killed 1,170 Israelis and foreigners, most of them civilians.
The Israeli army has said it has lost around 600 soldiers since the war began, 260 of them killed in Gaza itself since it went into action on October 27. Seventeen Israelis – soldiers, settlers and civilians – have been killed in violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Eight civilians and 10 Israeli soldiers have died in the north in Hezbollah missile and rocket attacks from Lebanon, leaving tens of thousands of people displaced.
Of the approximately 250 Israeli and foreign hostages kidnapped by Hamas on October 7, 129 remain in Gaza, of whom 34 have died, according to the military. The bodies of 12 hostages were returned to Israel. The Israeli military said that 9,100 rockets had been fired into Israel from Gaza since October 7. It has called up 300,000 reservists, 17% of whom are women.

Most of the 33,137 people killed in Gaza in Israel's retaliatory campaign are women and children, according to the territory's health ministry.
The Israeli army claims to have “eliminated” 12,000 enemy fighters, including five brigade commanders and 20 battalion commanders.
At least 459 other Palestinians have been killed in violence in the occupied West Bank, according to the Ramallah-based Health Ministry. The Israeli army claims to have “eliminated 420 terrorists” in its operations in the West Bank. Israel says it has hit 32,000 targets in Gaza since the war began.

Israeli fire since October has killed at least 359 people in Lebanon, mostly Hezbollah fighters, while at least 70 civilians have died, according to an AFP tally.
The cross-border fire has displaced tens of thousands of people in southern Lebanon. The total also includes fighters from other Lebanese groups, including Hamas and the Amal movement, an ally of Hezbollah.
At least 23 Hezbollah fighters have been killed in Israeli attacks in Syria, according to an AFP tally, and seven Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen were killed in an attack in Damascus last week.
Israel says it has hit 1,400 targets from the air in Lebanon and 3,300 with artillery, rockets and tanks. The Israeli military said 3,100 rockets were fired across the border from Lebanon and 35 from Syria.