Gaza death toll from Israeli strikes 25,000

January 22, 2024 3:30 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Israeli attacks and street battles raged across the Gaza Strip on Sunday as Palestinian health officials said the death toll from Israeli strikes since war broke out in October had passed 25,000.

Gaza’s health ministry said 178 Palestinians had been killed in the past 24 hours, one of the deadliest days of the war so far. Israel’s military said a soldier was killed in fighting.
Israeli forces and Hamas fighters clashed in several places, from Jabalia in the north to Khan Younis in the south, the focus of recent Israeli operations.

Israeli planes resumed heavy bombing on Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip and explosions echoed throughout the city.

Explosions lit the skies in parts of the Khan Younis refugee camp, and Palestinian health officials said one Palestinian was killed and seven wounded in one air strike as night fell.

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Israel said its troops had cleared much of northern Gaza of Hamas’ military network and more than 1 million residents of that enclave have moved south to flee the bombardments. Fighting, however, has continued in the Jabalia refugee camp and other areas around Gaza City.

Israel unleashed its campaign to eliminate Iran-backed Hamas after the militants burst into Israel on Oct. 7 and rampaged through southern towns and bases, killing 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and taking 253 hostages back to Gaza. Israel says it is fighting a threat to its very existence.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 25,105 Palestinians – many of them women and children – had been killed and 62,681 have been wounded in Israeli strikes since Oct. 7. It does not differentiate between civilian and militant deaths, but says most of those killed have been civilians.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday denounced Israel for what he called the “heartbreaking” deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Israel says it takes steps to avoid civilian casualties, but accuses Hamas of operating in densely populated areas and using civilians as human shields, a charge the Islamist group denies.

Guterres also said it was unacceptable for Israel to resist statehood for Palestinians and such a stance would indefinitely prolong a conflict.