Home / News / More than 29 thousand Palestinians were killed in the Israel-Hamas war

More than 29 thousand Palestinians were killed in the Israel-Hamas war

RAFAH, Gaza Strip — Israel’s offensive on Gaza has killed more than 29,000 Palestinians since Oct. 7, the regional Health Ministry said Monday. It was another terrifying turning point in one of the deadliest and most destructive military operations in recent history.

Following the attack on Israeli communities on October 7, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the offensive until “complete victory” against Hamas. He and the army said troops would soon move to the southernmost town of Rafah on the Egyptian border, where more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population have sought refuge from fighting elsewhere.

Israel’s biggest ally, the United States, says it is still working with mediators such as Egypt and Qatar to broker a new ceasefire and hostage release agreement. But those efforts appear to have stalled in recent days, and Netanyahu angered Qatar by calling for it to put pressure on Hamas and suggesting it finance the group.

The conflict has also led to daily clashes between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, which often threaten to escalate.

Lebanese state media said Israeli warplanes carried out at least two strikes near the southern port city of Sidon on Monday, one of the largest attacks near a major city. There was no immediate statement about the injured. The Israeli military said it attacked Hezbollah weapons depots near Sidon in retaliation for a drone that exploded in an open field near the northern Israeli city of Tiberias early Monday.

In Gaza, the Ministry of Health said the death toll since the beginning of the war had risen to 29,092, about two-thirds of whom were women and children. More than 69,000 Palestinians were injured, and hospitals in the region were overwhelmed, less than half of which were even partially functional.

The Ministry does not distinguish between civilians and combatants in its census. The Ministry of Health is part of the Hamas-run government in Gaza but keeps detailed records of the dead and injured. Figures from previous wars in Gaza largely match those of UN agencies, independent experts and Israel’s own calculations.

The war began when Hamas attacked southern Israel from Gaza on October 7, killing approximately 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking approximately 250 men, women and children hostage. After a series of exchanges of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel in November, around 130 people remain captive and a quarter of them are believed to be dead.

The Israeli military released video on Monday showing what is believed to be the youngest hostage being led along with his brother and mother through the streets of the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis shortly after he was kidnapped on October 7.

The video provides evidence that Shiri Bibas and her two young sons, Ariel, 4, and Kfir, who were 9 months old at the time, survived the initial kidnapping. The only children left in captivity with their mothers are boys.

The military’s chief spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said the military was “very concerned” about the family’s well-being. He said he found videos from security cameras captured during the army’s offensive in Khan Younis.

In the video, Bibas, wrapped in a blanket, is seen carrying Ariel and being carried through a dirt street by his kidnappers. The military said it believed Kfir was in a baby sling and could not be seen under the blanket.

The baby with red hair and a toothless smile has become a symbol of despair and anger throughout Israel towards the hostages still held in Gaza. Their father, Yarden Bibas, is also still in captivity.

The extended Bibas family said in a statement that the videos were “breaking our hearts.” They made a desperate demand to negotiate the release of all hostages. In January, the family and hundreds of activists celebrated Kfir’s first birthday with what his family called “the world’s saddest birthday party.”

While thousands of Palestinians have been detained by Israel since the start of the war, an Israeli human rights group reported that Palestinians in Israeli prisons are subjected to daily violence by guards who enter cells and beat prisoners with batons, kicks and punches without provocation. torture. Doctors for Human Rights—Israel said in a report released Monday that detainees said guards urinated on them and forced them to kiss the Israeli flag and undress. It was stated that the prisoners were kept in overcrowded cells and deprived of water for long periods.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed concern about hundreds of Palestinian women and girls detained in Israel. He said there were credible reports that at least two of them were raped and others were “subject to multiple sexual assaults”, including being stripped naked, searched by male police officers and photographed in “degrading conditions”.

Israel says it has killed more than 10,000 Palestinian fighters but provides no evidence of that number. The military says it is trying to avoid harming civilians and blames Hamas for the high death toll because the group fights in densely populated neighborhoods. The army announced that 236 of its soldiers have been killed since the ground operation began in late October.

On Sunday, Benny Gantz, a member of Netanyahu’s three-man War Cabinet, warned that the attack would expand to Rafah if the hostages were not released at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to occur around March 10.

Israel has said it is developing plans to evacuate civilians from Rafah, but it is unclear where they will go in the devastated region, which has had large areas flattened. Egypt has closed the border and warned that any mass influx of Palestinians could threaten its decades-old peace deal with Israel.

The war has already displaced nearly 80 percent of Palestinians in Gaza from their homes and left a quarter of the population to starve to death, according to UN officials.

The United States says it is still pressing for a ceasefire and the release of hostages and will veto a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire because it conflicts with those efforts.

Hamas has said it will not release all the remaining hostages until Israel ends the war and withdraws from Gaza. It is also demanding the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including top combatants.

Netanyahu rejected these demands. In a speech before American Jewish leaders on Sunday, he said pressure should be put on Qatar, which played a key role in mediating last year’s ceasefire and hostage release agreement.

“Qatar can put more pressure on Hamas than anyone else can. “They host Hamas leaders, Hamas is financially dependent on them,” Netanyahu said. “I ask you to pressure Qatar to put pressure on Hamas because we want our hostages to be released.”

Qatari foreign ministry spokesman Majed al-Ansari described Netanyahu’s remarks as “a new attempt to stop and prolong the war for reasons known to everyone,” referring to the Israeli leader’s domestic political problems.

Qatar denies funding Hamas and says its aid to Gaza in recent years has been carried out in full coordination with Israel, the United States and other parties.

“The Israeli prime minister knows very well that Qatar has been committed to mediation efforts from the first day, to end the crisis and release the hostages,” Al-Ansari said.

Magdy reported from Cairo

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