In a tragic escalation of violence, nearly 5,100 Palestinian civilians have lost their lives in the Gaza Strip since Israel initiated relentless airstrikes on the besieged enclave. This latest wave of violence came in response to Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israeli territory over two weeks ago.
The toll was reported by Gaza health officials, as cited by Al Jazeera on Tuesday (24 Oct).
Approximately 40% of the 5,087 reported casualties are children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, a grim statistic that highlights the devastating impact of the conflict on the youngest residents of Gaza.
Tensions escalated further after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “eliminate Hamas,” the armed group in control of Gaza, hinting at the possibility of a large-scale ground invasion. In retaliation, Hamas launched attacks on southern Israel, which, according to Israeli officials, resulted in the deaths of at least 1,400 people, the majority of whom were civilians.
Israel’s military campaign in Gaza has faced significant international criticism, with allegations of indiscriminate attacks targeting not only militants but also civilian infrastructure and residences.
One striking example of this is the targeting of the family of Dr Mohammad Al Rann, the head surgeon at the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza. As reported by Palestine media, Quds News Network, on the X platform, all members of Dr. Al Rann’s family were killed in an Israeli airstrike.
The Indonesian Hospital was built with donations from the people of Indonesia and operated by MER-C, a humanitarian organization based in Central Jakarta.
Additionally, the conflict has taken a heavy toll on media professionals. Journalist Doaa Sharaf, also known as Dua’ Sharf, and her child were among the casualties. The Committee for the Protection of Journalists reported that at least 22 media workers have been killed in Israeli attacks since 7 October. These attacks have raised concerns about the deliberate targeting of the families of doctors and journalists.
The conflict, deeply rooted in the occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel with Western support for the past 75 years, shows no sign of abating. Over 5,000 Palestinian lives have been lost in Gaza due to the relentless airstrikes by Israeli forces over the past two weeks. Israel, on the other hand, has reported a consistent casualty figure of 1,400 since the surprise attack by Hamas on southern Israel on 7 October, which Israel has labeled the “Gray Saturday.”
The international community has called for an immediate ceasefire and a return to diplomatic negotiations to end the suffering on both sides, but the situation remains highly volatile and uncertain.
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