Palestinian death toll in Gaza surpasses 25,000
Since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian death toll has surpassed 25,000, the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip said Sunday.
This, while the Associated Press is reporting that Israel announced the death of another hostage and appeared far from achieving its goals of freeing more than 100 others and crushing the militant group.
“The war’s deaths, destruction and displacement are without precedent in the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The war has divided Israelis while the offensive threatens to ignite a wider conflict involving Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen that support the Palestinians,” the AP said.
“Furious with the Israeli government and demanding the release of remaining hostages, relatives and others set up a tent camp outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem and vowed to stay until a deal is reached,” the report continued.
At the same time, it was reported that Netanyahu, in a defiant recent statement, said he emphasised in his conversation Friday with United States (US) President Joe Biden that he rejects Hamas demands for a cease-fire, Israeli forces’ withdrawal and the release of Palestinians held by Israel in exchange for the remaining hostages.
He said that agreeing means another devastating Hamas attack “would only be a matter of time.”
Netanyahu also rejects calls from the United States, its closest ally, for postwar plans that would include a path to Palestinian statehood. UN [United Nations] Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the refusal to accept a two-state solution unacceptable,” the AP reported.
“The Middle East is a tinderbox. We must do all we can to prevent conflict igniting across the region,” Guterres added. “And that starts with an immediate humanitarian cease-fire to relieve the suffering in Gaza,” it added.
Since October 7, when the war began, approximately 25,105 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, while another 62,681 have been wounded, the Health Ministry said. The toll included the 178 bodies brought to Gaza’s hospitals since Saturday, Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra said.