Gaza, November 7, 2023,
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says more than 10,000 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory since Israel started bombing it last month.
More than 4,000 of those killed were children, the ministry said.
The number surpasses the UN’s figure of about 5,400 killed in Gaza in all of Israel’s previous conflicts with Hamas since it took control of the territory in 2007.
Israel began bombing Gaza after Hamas killed 1,400 people and kidnapped more than 200 others on 7 October.
It says it is destroying Hamas infrastructure and killing its fighters so that it will no longer be able to pose a threat to Israel.
US President Joe Biden has previously questioned the accuracy of the health ministry’s figures, while the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) say that “any information provided by a terrorist organisation should be viewed with caution”.
Hamas is a proscribed terror organisation in many countries including the UK and US.
However, World Health Organization (WHO) regional emergency director Richard Brennan, based in Cairo, said last week he believed the figures provided by the health ministry were trustworthy.
“We’re confident that the information management systems that the ministry of health has put in place over the years stand up to analysis,” he said, adding “the data over the years has been quite solid”.
On Sunday night, the Israeli military carried out one of its heaviest bombardments of the besieged Gaza Strip, saying on Monday that it had hit 450 targets over the past 24 hours.
The Hamas-run health ministry said “more than 200 martyrs were reported in the overnight massacres”.
The director of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City told the BBC that people were using donkeys and their own cars to carry dead bodies, because communications had been cut and they could not reach ambulance services.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) charity said this was the “third communications blackout” in Gaza since the war began – and it had lost contact with its teams.
Communications were restored on Monday morning, but getting information from Gaza City remains difficult.
The Israeli military says its troops have reached the coastline in the south of Gaza City, in effect dividing the territory in two.
The heads of all major UN agencies have issued a rare joint statement calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, saying “enough is enough”.
“For almost a month, the world has been watching the unfolding situation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory in shock and horror at the spiralling numbers of lives lost and torn apart,” the UN chiefs wrote.
Source- BBC News