Death toll in Gaza has exceeded 25,000, according to Gaza Health Ministry.
As of Sunday, the Gaza Health Ministry reported 25,105 casualties in the coastal enclave, with over 62,600 others sustaining injuries since Hamas initiated its unexpected assault in southern Israel on Oct. 7. This figure encompasses the 178 bodies taken to Gaza’s hospitals since Saturday, as mentioned by the Health Ministry.
The overall casualty count is believed to be higher, with numerous bodies still buried under the debris from strikes or in areas inaccessible to medics, said Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra, according to the Associated Press.
The Health Ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in tallying casualties but noted that around two-thirds of those killed in Gaza were women and minors, as reported by the news wire.
These figures come after more than 100 days since the commencement of the conflict, initiated by Hamas’s breach into Israel, resulting in approximately 1,200 casualties, mostly civilians. Around 250 people were taken hostage during these attacks, around 100 hostages were released during a week-long cease-fire in November.
In response to the October 7 attacks, Israel launched air assaults and a ground invasion into northern Gaza. After substantial destruction in the enclave’s north, Israeli forces shifted focus to Khan Younis and central Gaza refugee camps.
The Israeli military claims it has eliminated approximately 9,000 militants, though evidence has not been provided. Reports also claim that 195 of its soldiers killed so far since the beginning of the conflict.
Humanitarian crisis in Gaza
The conflict in Gaza has displaced an estimated 85% of the population, equivalent to about 1.9 million individuals, who have sought refuge in overcrowded shelters and hospitals where supplies of food, water, and medical resources are rapidly diminishing, as reported by the United Nations last week. The World Food Program stated last month that about nine in 10 Palestinians are consuming less than one meal daily.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has largely dismissed international calls for a cease-fire, asserting that Israel will not halt its offensive until it achieves “complete victory” over Hamas and secures the release of the remaining hostages.
The hostages still in captivity are believed to be held underground in Hamas’s intricate tunnels. So far, Israel has managed to rescue only one hostage since the onset of the conflict. Hamas has reported several deaths in airstrikes or unsuccessful rescue operations.