Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said Monday that more than 5,000 people have been killed in the besieged Palestinian enclave since Israel launched its withering bombing campaign more than two weeks ago.

Alarm has surged about the spiraling humanitarian crisis in Gaza amid the war sparked by the October 7 Hamas attack that, Israeli officials say, killed more than 1,400 people who were gunned down, stabbed or burnt by the Islamist militants. Hamas also took more than 200 hostages. On a day when Israel’s army reported more than 300 new strikes within 24 hours, Gaza’s health ministry said the death toll had surged above 5,000, around 40 per cent of them children.

About a dozen trucks carrying desperately needed aid — the third convoy in three days — arrived inside Gaza from Egypt on Monday through Rafah, Gaza’s only crossing not controlled by Israel. The United States, which has brokered the entry of the aid convoys, has vowed a “continued flow” of relief goods into Gaza, even as UN aid agencies have said far more is needed.

Fighting raged unabated overnight after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed again that Israel would “erase Hamas” and as a full-scale ground invasion loomed. Gaza’s Hamas-controlled government media office said that “more than 60 were martyred in the raids” during the night — including 17 in a single strike that hit a house in Gaza’s north — and at least 10 others were killed in new strikes early Monday.

Thousands of buildings have been destroyed and more than one million people displaced in the territory that has been under siege and largely deprived of water, food and other basic supplies. The Israeli military said it had hit “over 320 military targets in the Gaza Strip” in the past 24 hours.

It said the targets “included tunnels containing Hamas terrorists, dozens of operational command centers” as well as “military compounds and observation posts” used by Islamic Jihad, another militant group.

Source : Channel News


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