Over 29,000 Palestinians Killed in the Gaza Strip Since Israel-Hamas War Began

In what marks the deadliest chapter in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, over 29,000 Palestinians have lost their lives in the Gaza Strip since the onset of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. The Gaza Health Ministry’s latest figures underscore the grim reality of the ongoing war, with 107 individuals reported dead in the last 24 hours alone, bringing the total fatalities to 29,092. Among the casualties, a significant number are women and children, emphasizing the conflict’s devastating impact on the most vulnerable. The war has also left more than 69,000 Palestinians injured, stretching the capabilities of Gaza’s healthcare facilities to their limits.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to pursue the offensive until Hamas is defeated, hinting at an imminent military push towards Rafah, a critical refuge for more than half of Gaza’s population. Amidst this backdrop, international efforts led by the United States, in collaboration with Egypt and Qatar, to broker a cease-fire have yet to yield results. Netanyahu’s stance has particularly strained relations with Qatar, a key mediator and host to Hamas leaders, following his call for the country to leverage its influence over the militant group.

Displaced members of Palestinian Abu Mustafa family, who fled their house due to Israeli strikes, prepare food as they shelter at the border with Egypt, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, February 10, 2024.

The conflict, triggered by a Hamas-led incursion into southern Israel, has seen a staggering human toll on both sides, with Israel reporting over 1,100 casualties. In response, Israel has launched one of its most severe military campaigns against the besieged enclave, controlled by Hamas since 2007. Despite claims of targeting over 10,000 Palestinian militants, the high civilian death toll has drawn widespread condemnation, with critics pointing to the fighting in densely populated areas as a significant cause of civilian casualties.

As the war shows no sign of abating, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza deepens, with the United Nations reporting that 80% of the population has been displaced and a quarter faces starvation. The Israeli government has signaled plans to evacuate civilians from Rafah, though the logistics remain uncertain given the extensive destruction across Gaza and the sealed borders with Egypt.

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