More than 800 killed in Gaza in first 10 days of Ramadan

Casualty figures reveal bloody toll of failure to secure a ceasefire before holy month

Two women mourn relatives who were killed during Israeli bombardment of Gaza during Ramadan. AFP
Powered by automated translation

Live updates: Follow the latest news on Israel-Gaza

More than 800 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Ramadan began on March 11, showing the stark human cost of failed attempts by the US and others to secure a ceasefire before the holy month.

Civilians have continued to bear the brunt of Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza, despite the onset of Ramadan, usually a time for reflection and family gatherings.

Between the morning of March 11 and the afternoon of March 21, a total of 876 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, according to data from the Gaza Ministry of Health.

A further 1,428 people were injured, reported the Hamas-run ministry, which provides daily casualty updates that are considered broadly reliable by the UN and other humanitarian agencies.

The data is based on hospital data and does not distinguish between civilian and militant casualties.

The ministry had reported a total of 31,112 Palestinians killed in Gaza and 72,760 injured between the outbreak of the war on October 7 and the morning of Ramadan on March 11, which had risen to 31,988 killed and 74,188 injured by the afternoon of March 21.

The latest numbers came as yet another round of negotiations to reach a truce took place in Doha, after several rounds of failed talks.

US President Joe Biden had repeatedly called for a ceasefire to be introduced before Ramadan.

“There's got to be a ceasefire because if we get into circumstances where this continues to Ramadan, Israel and Jerusalem could be very, very dangerous,” he said early this month.

However, his pleas fell on deaf ears, with Israel and Hamas unable to agree to a truce deal despite pressure from US, Egyptian and Qatari mediators. Instead, fighting has continued through the holy month at a fatal cost to people in Gaza.

The most deadly 24 hours since Ramadan began were overnight on March 14 into March 15, when 149 people were killed and 300 injured. The next day, the first Friday of Ramadan, an Israeli air strike reportedly killed 36 members of an extended family as they gathered together to celebrate in central Gaza.

Israel claimed to have killed 90 "terrorists" during a raid on Al Shifa Hospital in the second week of Ramadan. These numbers were not factored into the Gaza Ministry of Health totals here.

On the Israeli side, the army reported three soldiers have been killed and 22 injured since the beginning of Ramadan. The total number of soldiers killed since October 7 is 251, with 1,496 injured, according to the UN.

This does not include deaths and injuries on October 7 itself, when a Hamas-led attack killed about 1,200 people in southern Israel and took about 250 back to Gaza as hostages.

The war has also sparked a rise in violence in the occupied West Bank.

There were fears that without a ceasefire before Ramadan, the West Bank was at risk of exploding, with tensions centred on Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

Prayer at the mosque, particularly during Ramadan, is deeply important to many Palestinians and Israeli police restrictions on access to the site have led to violence on a number of occasions.

So far, there has not been a significant upsurge in violence and prayers have passed off without major incidents. About 15 Palestinians have been killed and about 30 injured across the West Bank since Ramadan began.

However, with the holy month less than halfway through, the risk of escalation remains.

Updated: March 25, 2024, 11:22 AM