Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the largest in the enclave, receives data from every hospital in the strip. Hospital administrators say they keep records of every wounded person occupying a bed and every body arriving at a morgue. The ministry also collects from other sources including the Palestinian Red Crescent.
The health ministry does not report how Palestinians were killed, whether from Israeli airstrikes and artillery barrages or errant Palestinian rocket fire. It describes all casualties as victims of “Israeli aggression”. The ministry also does not distinguish between civilians and combatants.
Throughout four wars and numerous skirmishes between Israel and Hamas, UN agencies have cited the Hamas-run health ministry’s death tolls in regular reports. The International Committee of the Red Cross and Palestinian Red Crescent also use the numbers.
In the aftermath of war, the UN humanitarian office has published final death tolls based on its own research into medical records. The UN’s counts have largely been consistent with the Gaza health ministry’s, with small discrepancies.
For more on the Gaza health ministry’s tolls, click here.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)