Gaza Death Toll Nears 22,000 as Israel Continues Relentless Attacks

Sun Dec 31 2023
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GAZA CITY: The health ministry in the Gaza Strip has reported that at least 21,822 Palestinian people, mostly women and children, have been killed in the Palestinian territory in the ongoing Israeli attacks since October 7. The health ministry said the figure includes 150 deaths in the past 24 hours. It added that more than 56,451 people have been injured in Gaza since October 7.

The Health Ministry in Gaza reports that the majority of the casualties are women and children, emphasizing the devastating impact of the relentless Israeli attacks that have continued since October 7.

Israeli forces continue to defy international calls for a ceasefire, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserting that the attacks will continue. The past day witnessed Israeli artillery shelling targeting a school housing displaced Palestinians in Khan Younis, causing at least 10 injuries, Al Jazeera reported. The bombardment has particularly intensified in southern Gaza, affecting areas such as Khan Younis and Rafah.

The Gaza government has declared that Israel’s prolonged assault has resulted in the destruction of over 70% of homes in the besieged enclave. An earlier report indicated the loss of more than 200 heritage and archaeological sites, marking this Israeli bombardment as one of the most destructive in modern history.

As the conflict rages on, the Biden administration’s support for Israel is being scrutinized. Analyst Adel Abdel Ghafar suggests that the backing from the White House is unlikely to be “unlimited,” particularly as the US enters an election season. Ghafar notes President Biden’s decreasing popularity, especially among younger Democrat voters, predicting increased pressure on Israel to conclude the war in the coming year.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen of Israel has acknowledged the government’s responsibility for the October 7 attack, calling for the formation of an investigation committee to hold those negligent accountable. Cohen emphasizes the priority of restoring security.

Aid Coming into Gaza Strip Remains ‘Woefully Inadequate’: UN

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the volume of aid entering the besieged Gaza Strip remains “woefully inadequate” as Israel continues to bombard houses, shelters, and hospitals in the enclave.

According to a weekly report, the 103 aid trucks of medical and food supplies entered the besieged Palestinian territory on December 30.

“Ground operations and intense airstrikes and missiles striking housing units and infrastructure, reportedly resulted in high numbers of deaths. This occurred in areas where Palestinian people have relocated following orders from Israeli forces to move from northern Gaza,” OCHA noted.

 OCHA said 1.9 million people in Gaza, or nearly 85 percent of the population, are estimated to be internally displaced by the end of 2023. The figures include Palestinian people who have been displaced multiple times, as families are forced to move repeatedly in search of safety.

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