5,000 Israeli soldiers wounded since start of war in Gaza: Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot

Ahram Online , Saturday 9 Dec 2023

The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported that 5,000 Israeli soldiers have been wounded since the start of the war in Gaza, describing the figure as unprecedented in Israeli wars.

Israeli soldiers
Israeli soldiers carry the coffin of Gal Eizenkot, the son of Israeli government s war cabinet minister Gadi Eizenkot, who was killed in battles with Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, during his funeral in Herzliya, on December 8, 2023. AFP

 

Of these, 2,000 soldiers are recognized by the Israeli army as disabled, added Yediot Ahronot, one of the oldest papers in Israel.

The Israeli Ministry of Defence’s Department of Rehabilitation receives 60 wounded people every day, most of whom are seriously injured, the newspaper reported.

However, the report noted that this number only covers police and reservists, suggesting the actual number is higher when taking into account casualties from active-duty military.

“We have never encountered anything like this. More than 58 percent of the wounded who come to us have severe injuries to the arms and legs, including those requiring amputations,” said Limora Luria, head of the rehabilitation department.

About 12 percent of the wounded suffer from internal injuries, while seven percent are psychologically traumatized, she added in remarks to the newspaper.

This would be an unprecedented number of casualties compared to recent Israeli wars.

During Israel’s last large-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip, in 2008/2009, just over 300 Israeli soldiers were wounded in around three weeks, according to the foreign ministry.

Before this, in their 2006 war against Hezbollah, around 1,200 Israeli soldiers were wounded in just over a month, according to the commission of inquiry formed afterwards.

The last time Israel sustained a higher number of non-fatal casualties over such a short period was in the 1973 October War it fought against Egypt and Syria.

An updated version of Yediot Ahronot’s story removed all reference to the 5,000 figure, without explaining why the change was made.

The Israeli army does not provide regular figures about the number of injuries it has sustained in its war on Gaza.

In late November, another leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an exclusive report revealing that 1,000 soldiers had been wounded since 7 October.

Haaretz also uncovered evidence that the number of wounded are being under-reported, including new restrictions placed on medical personnel preventing them from disclosing such information.

If both the Yediot Ahronot and Haaretz reporting are accurate, this would indicate a dramatic increase in the number of Israeli wounded since the collapse of the ceasefire on 1 December.

However, it is unclear that this is the case, as there has not been a similar increase in the number of fatal Israeli casualties.

According to Israeli data, 421 soldiers have been killed since 7 October. This compares to 392 fatalities reported before the ceasefire in late November.

Meanwhile, nearly 17,000 people in Gaza have been killed and about 50,000 people injured, almost 70 percent of them women and children.

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