Gaza Death Toll Surpasses 34,097 as Israel Continues Bombardment Campaign

Sun Apr 21 2024
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GAZA STRIP: The death toll in the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday surpassed 34,097, with the majority of victims being women and children, as Israel continues its relentless bombardment campaign, the health ministry in the Palestinian territory reported. The health ministry reported that at least 48 Palestinians were killed in the past 24 hours alone, while 76,980 others have been wounded since the start of the Israeli onslaught on October 7.

Amidst the escalating violence, Palestinian civil defense teams are grappling with the harrowing task of recovering bodies buried in mass graves by Israeli forces. Reports from Middle East Eye indicate that Palestinian authorities have uncovered two mass graves within the courtyard of Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, with at least 170 bodies recovered thus far. Civil defense workers estimate that the total number of bodies may reach nearly 400.

The relentless offensive by Israel has not only resulted in staggering human losses but has also exacerbated the economic woes of the Palestinian territories. Analysts argue that Israel’s actions are accelerating the annexation of the Palestinian economy, undermining decades of economic agreements following the Oslo Peace Accords.

Economist Adel Samara highlighted Israel’s tightening grip on the Palestinian Authority, particularly through the withholding of tax revenues collected on its behalf. With the bulk of customs duties withheld since October 7, the Palestinian Authority is struggling to meet its financial obligations, including the payment of salaries to civil servants and operational expenses.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces and settlers continued violence in the occupied West Bank. Israeli forces killed 14 Palestinians during a raid in the Nur Shams area, near the flashpoint city of Tulkarm, while an ambulance driver lost his life in a separate attack by violent Jewish settlers.

Earlier on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Palestinian unity in the face of Israel’s military offensive. Following extensive talks with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul, Erdogan emphasized the importance of solidarity among Palestinians as they confront the grave challenges posed by Israel’s aggression.

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