The bodies of more than 1,000 Palestinians are trapped under the rubble of buildings that were destroyed by Israeli air attacks in Gaza, the Hamas interior ministry says, warning of humanitarian and environmental crises.
Eyad al-Bozom, spokesman for the Hamas interior ministry, expressed concern over the rotting bodies in a statement on Monday, a day after the Palestinian civil defence team said in a statement on Sunday that more than 1,000 people were missing under the rubble after many others were pulled out alive 24 hours after buildings were struck.
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Hundreds of Hamas fighters crossed the border into Israel on October 7, killing at least 1,400 people and taking dozens captive. Israel has been carrying out air strikes in the Gaza Strip ever since.
The death toll in Gaza reached 2,750 on Monday while the number of those injured stood at 9,700, according to the enclave’s health ministry.
Al Jazeera’s Youmna ElSayed, reporting from Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza, said the Israeli bombardment continues in the city and other southern areas “despite Israel telling people to head south”.
On Friday morning, the Israeli military ordered more than a million people to evacuate the north of the Gaza Strip, including the densely populated Gaza City. The directive applies to almost half of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents.
“A short while ago, five ambulances arrived at a hospital in Khan Younis carrying the injured. Several, including women and children, had severe injuries. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the Israeli aggression,” she said.
“Hospitals, which have been using generators after Israel cut off electricity to Gaza, are informing us that they are running out of fuel and will be unable to operate in less than 24 hours.”
Last Monday, Israel cut off Gaza’s access to food, fuel, medicine and other supplies, announcing “a total siege”.
“We are putting a complete siege on Gaza … No electricity, no food, no water, no gas – it’s all closed,” Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said in a video statement last week, justifying the move by describing Palestinians as “beastly people”.