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Here’s What AP's Analysis Of Gaza Health Ministry’s Death Toll Shows

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israel-Hamas war appears to have become much less deadly for Palestinian women and children, according to an AP analysis of Gaza Health Ministry data.

The shift is significant because the death rate for women and children is the best available proxy for civilian casualties in one of the 21st century’s most destructive conflicts.

Women and children made up fewer than 40% of those killed in the Gaza Strip during April, down from more than 60% in October. The decline both coincides with Israel’s changing battlefield tactics and contradicts the ministry’s own public statements.

Here are takeaways from The Associated Press’ reporting.


After Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, Israel launched an intense aerial bombardment on densely populated Gaza, and then invaded with thousands of ground troops backed by tanks and artillery.

By the end of October women and people 17 and younger accounted for 64% of the 6,745 killed who were fully identified by the Health Ministry.

After saying it had achieved many key objectives, the Israeli army began withdrawing ground troops earlier this year. It has focused lately on drone strikes and limited ground operations.

As the intensity of fighting has scaled back, the death toll has continued to rise, but at a slower rate – and with seemingly fewer civilians caught in the crossfire. During the month of April, women and children made up 38% of the fully identified deaths, the Health Ministry’s most recent data shows.


The ministry announces a new death toll for the war nearly every day. It also has periodically released the underlying data behind this figure, including detailed lists of the dead.

The AP’s analysis looked at

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