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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Gaza death toll reported above 10,000 as conflict escalates

 People mourn as they collect the bodies of Palestinians killed in Israeli air raids on Nov. 6, 2023, in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Heavy fighting rages in the northern Gaza Strip as Israel encircles the area, despite increasingly pressing calls for a humanitarian truce. The leaders of the main UN agencies issued a rare joint statement to express their indignation. More than 40 per cent of the dead in Gaza after nearly four weeks of war are children.    (Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Omar Tamo Bloomberg News

More than 10,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war erupted just under a month ago, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in the besieged territory.

Since Israel began airstrikes on Oct. 7, more than 4,100 children have died and over 25,000 have been wounded, the health ministry said on Monday.

Israel has regularly disputed the figures, which can’t be independently verified, and said they’re exaggerated.

The bombardment began after militants from Hamas, designated a terrorist group by the U.S. and European Union, swarmed southern Israel and killed around 1,400 people, according to Israeli officials. Many of them were children.

Around 10 days ago, Israel started a ground incursion and now says it’s effectively cut off the northern Gaza Strip, where its concentrating its troops, from the south, where it’s urged civilians to evacuate to.

Israel has resisted calls from Arab states and the likes of Turkey for a ceasefire, saying that would allow Hamas to regroup. It says it needs to continue until it’s destroyed the Iran-backed organization.

In recent days, the U.S. has applied pressure on Israel to pause fighting for a short period to allow more aid to get into Gaza, and for hostage negotiations to progress. Hamas and other groups abducted around 240 people on Oct. 7.

The soaring Palestinian death toll has triggered protests around the world, including in the U.S., UK and Germany.

—With assistance from Fadwa Hodali.