Intense Israeli strikes killed more than 200 people overnight in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas-run health ministry in the besieged Palestinian territory said Monday.
“More than 200 martyrs were reported in the overnight massacres,” the ministry said in a statement, adding the death toll only covered Gaza City and the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
Israel began pounding Gaza with what it called “significant” strikes on Monday as soldiers battled Hamas forces in the territory, ignoring ceasefire calls by UN aid agencies who condemned surging civilian deaths in the month-long conflict.
Israeli forces have stepped up their ground offensive in Gaza as part of the military response to the October 7 Hamas attacks that Israeli officials say killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, with more than 240 people taken hostage.
Israel has since relentlessly bombarded the Gaza Strip and sent in ground troops, with the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory saying 9,770 people have been killed, around two-thirds of them women and children.