Israel killed at least 70 more Palestinians overnight and early Monday as Gaza saw the death of nearly 400 people in the blockaded territory’s deadliest 24 hours since Oct. 7
Palestinian death toll in Gaza from Israeli airstrikes crossed the grim mark of 5,000 on Monday, according to the coastal strip’s Health Ministry.
The number now stands at 5,087, including 2,055 children and over 1,000 women, the ministry added.
The Health Ministry said an additional 15,273 people were injured in the attacks by Israel, which carried to daily bombardments of the city since the Oct. 7 incursion by Hamas.
Israel killed at least 70 more Palestinians overnight and early Monday as Gaza saw the death of nearly 400 people in the blockaded territory’s deadliest 24 hours since the attacks began.
The Hamas-controlled government media office said in a statement that “more than 60 were martyred in the (Israeli) raids” during the night, including 17 who were killed in a single strike that hit a house in Jabaliya, in northern Gaza.
At least 10 other people were killed in new strikes Monday morning, the media office said in a separate statement, bringing the overall toll since Sunday night to at least 70 deaths.
The Israeli military said Monday it had hit “over 320 military targets in the Gaza Strip” over the past 24 hours.
Between 200 and 300 people have been killed each day in the besieged territory, according to government tolls but that number climbed to nearly 400 on Sunday.
Most of those killed were women and children, medical sources told the Palestinian news agency WAFA.
The attacks were concentrated in Jabalya and Beit Lahiya in the north, the al-Gusta and al-Rimal neighborhoods and al-Shati refugee camp in the west and Khan Younis and Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip.
The number of women, children and elderly killed Sunday accounted for 70% of the death toll, according to the sources.
They said 44 Palestinians were killed in Khan Younis governorate, 57 in Rafah, 168 in al-Wusta, 66 in Gaza and 44 in the north.
Six were killed and 11 others injured in the bombing of a house in Rafah, it continued.
In the bombing of the house of the Abu Habis family in al-Sarara, five were killed. Some were injured in a strike on a house of the al-Zitani family in the al-Amal neighborhood.
Calls for blood donations
Rafah resident Mohammed Abu Sabalah said he had returned home from the local mosque after dawn prayers Monday and that “a quarter of an hour later there was a bombing.”
“We couldn’t see anything because of the thick smoke,” he said, adding that “we thank God that we’ve emerged safe and sound” with “only a few windows and doors destroyed.”
Israeli forces are massed near the Gaza border, and smaller units have already carried out limited incursions, targeting Hamas and hoping to rescue hostages, whose number Israel now puts at 222.
In one such operation, a 19-year-old Israeli soldier was killed and three others wounded, the army said.
Tensions have been inflamed in the occupied West Bank, where 95 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces, according to the Ramallah-based Health Ministry.
In Gaza, where thousands have been wounded, the health ministry issued a statement saying “citizens are called upon to immediately go to hospitals and blood bank branches to donate blood.”
Alarm has grown about the dire needs of the 2.4 million civilians trapped inside the 40-kilometer (25-mile) long coastal strip that was already blockaded and impoverished before the war.
Children killed in an Israeli airstrike in the southern city of Khan Yunis were Monday laid to rest in a makeshift grave, while in Rafah men were filling plastic jerrycans from containers with now scare safe drinking water.
U.S. President Joe Biden brokered the passage of aid convoys with Egyptian and Israeli leaders in talks last week – but the United Nations estimates Gaza needs about 100 trucks of relief goods every day.
Aid trickles in
U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths said Sunday’s delivery of food, water and medical supplies was “another small glimmer of hope for the millions of people in dire need of humanitarian aid.
“But they need more, much more.”
Israel has rejected the entry of fuel into Gaza, fearing Hamas could use it for weapons and explosives.
This has sparked warnings that soon Gaza’s ambulances, hospital incubators for infants and water desalination plants will soon stop functioning.
Thousands of buildings have been destroyed and more than one million people displaced in the territory that has been under siege and largely deprived of water, food and other basic supplies.
About a dozen trucks carrying desperately needed aid – the third convoy in three days – arrived inside Gaza from Egypt on Monday through Rafah, Gaza’s only crossing not controlled by Israel.
The United States, which has brokered the entry of the aid convoys, has vowed a “continued flow” of relief goods into Gaza, even as U.N. aid agencies have said far more is needed.
Around the world, Israel’s friends and foes alike have warned against the Gaza war spilling over into a full-scale regional conflagration.
Israel’s archenemy Iran has repeatedly warned of an escalation and so has Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has traded cross-border fire with Israel.
Netanyahu warned Sunday that if Hezbollah were to get more deeply involved, it would be “the mistake of its life.”
“We will strike it with a force it cannot even imagine, and the significance for it and the state of Lebanon will be devastating,” he said.
Netanyahu on Monday hosted Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the latest Western leader to pay a solidarity visit.
Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, in the meanwhile, charged that Israel’s planned Gaza invasion would mean “new crimes, atrocities, forced displacement and killing for the sake of killing and revenge.”