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Live blog update| Israel's war on Gaza

Senior US official suggests Gaza death toll may be higher than is being cited

Barbara Leaf, US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, has told a House panel that the Gaza death toll may be higher than the near-11,000 figure reported by the Palestinian health ministry, as first reported by The Hill. 

“In this period of conflict and conditions of war, it is very difficult for any of us to assess what the rate of casualties are,” Leaf told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “We think they’re very high, frankly, and it could be that they’re even higher than are being cited.

“We’ll know only after the guns fall silent. We take in sourcing from a variety of folks who are on the ground,” she added. “I can’t stipulate to one figure or another, it’s very possible they’re even higher than is being reported."

A senior Israeli security source disclosed earlier this week that an estimated 20,000 people were killed in air strikes in the Gaza Strip, according to the diplomatic correspondent of Yedioth Ahronoth.

Two weeks ago, the Palestinian health ministry published the names, ages, genders, and ID numbers of all those killed by Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip, a day after US President Joe Biden questioned its figures.