More than 10,000 people have been killed in 31 days of relentless Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian health officials, with no signs of a ceasefire in the besieged enclave.
In a statement on Monday, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said the death toll has risen to at least 10,022 Palestinians, including 4,104 children, with many victims still trapped beneath the rubble and an Israeli siege drying up access to vital goods like fuel, food and electricity.
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“The number [death toll] is expected to go up as at least 2,000 people remain under the rubble. The problem is, with lack of heavy equipment and machinery, the rescue teams on the ground are unable to remove and pull out these bodies from under the rubble,” Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud reported from Khan Younis in southern Gaza.
The number of those wounded since the October 7 start of the bombardment has risen to 25,408, a Health Ministry spokesperson said, adding that Israel had conducted 18 attacks in the past hours, killing 252 people.
The “shocking milestone” was a result of Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment of civilian homes, hospitals, refugee camps, and schools, said Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), a United Kingdom-based organisation,
“How many more deaths will it take for this assault to be brought to an end – 50,000, 100,000?,” said Fikr Shalltoot, the group’s Gaza director. “As we witness our homes, hospitals and schools turned to rubble, we are crying out for a shred of humanity from world leaders.”
While Israel has promised to destroy the Palestinian armed group Hamas, which carried out attacks on southern Israel on October 7 that Israeli authorities said killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians, humanitarian conditions in Gaza have reached a critical point under constant Israeli bombardment.
Running low on fuel supplies, 16 of Gaza’s 35 hospitals have been forced to suspend operations as the number of people wounded increases and the United Nations said that more than 1.5 million people, which is more than half of Gaza’s population, have been displaced.
As conditions in Gaza have increasingly deteriorated and the death toll continues to rise, calls have grown for an end to the fighting. In late October, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian truce.
Both Israel and its most powerful ally, the United States, have rejected calls for a ceasefire, saying that an end to the fighting would allow Hamas time to regroup. The US has said it would support a brief pause in the fighting to allow more assistance to enter Gaza, but Israel has shown little enthusiasm for this idea.
As Israel steps up ground operations inside Gaza and continues its campaign of air strikes, Palestinians fear there is no end in sight.
“Are you enjoying this … horror movie?” Zak Hania, a resident of the al-Shati refugee camp, asked world leaders in an interview with Al Jazeera.
“How many people need to die, [need] to be killed, for the people, for the world, for the world leaders to move to do something? We asked for a ceasefire. We are all civilians.”