Death toll climbs in Gaza as Israel ramps up genocidal war

2023-12-30 17:05:19
Death toll climbs in Gaza as Israel ramps up genocidal war

Israeli forces have killed at least 187 people in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours as a team of senior Hamas leaders reached Cairo for negotiations to end Israel's 12-week-long assault on the blockaded coastal territory.

The regime’s warplanes pounded crowded areas in the southernmost end of Gaza on Friday, bringing the total death toll in the populated enclave to at least 21,507 people, including nearly 9,000 children and 6,500 women, the Gaza Health Ministry said Friday.

The number of people wounded in Gaza has also neared 56,000, according to the ministry figures.

The regime’s military said on Friday that its forces "are extending operation in Khan Yunis" in the Gaza Strip's south.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said on Thursday that Israel’s shelling near the southern town has killed 41 people over the past two days.

The casualties in repeated Israeli strikes near the facility include "displaced persons seeking shelter,” it said.

At least 35 people have also been killed in Israeli bombings in Nuseirat and Maghazi refugee camps in central Gaza. An airstrike hit a residential building near the Kuwaiti hospital in southern Gaza, killing at least 20 people on Friday.

The regime’s forces have fired at an aid convoy as it returned from northern Gaza along a route designated “safe” by Tel Aviv, according to Thomas White, director of UNRWA affairs in Gaza.

In recent days, tens of thousands of people have fled Israel’s bombardment of the center of the strip to take shelter in Israeli-designated “safe areas” in the southernmost end of the besieged strip, where the military has nevertheless also kept bombing.

The regime's brutal onslaught on the Palestinian territory has so far displaced some 85% of the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million residents and sparked a humanitarian crisis that has left a quarter of Gaza’s population starving.

“People are using any empty space to build shacks,” said Juliette Touma, director of communications at UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. “Some are sleeping in their cars, and others are sleeping in the open.”

The UN agency said 308 people seeking shelter in UN facilities have so far been killed while a total of 1,095 have been wounded while taking refuge at UN sites.

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