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More than 100 Palestinians killed in West Bank amid Gaza war

GAZA STRIP, Palestinian Territories: Gaza’s Hamas government said Wednesday that Israeli air strikes on the besieged Palestinian territory during the night killed at least 80 people.
A statement from the government’s media office said “more than 80 people were martyred and hundreds wounded in massacres committed by the occupation (Israel) raids” overnight.
Thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the war between Israel and Hamas since it erupted on October 7.

Gaza witnessed a record death toll in the past 24 hours, as Israel escalated airstrikes on Tuesday, crushing families in the rubble of residential buildings, as health officials said hundreds of Palestinians were killed in the past day and medical facilities were shut down because of bomb damage and lack of power.

The Gaza Health Ministry, which is run by Hamas, said Israeli airstrikes killed at least 704 people over the past day, mostly women and children.

Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been running out of food, water and medicine since Israel sealed off the territory following the devastating Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on towns in southern Israel.

Israel said Tuesday it had launched 400 airstrikes over the past day, killing Hamas commanders, hitting militants as they prepared to fire rockets into Israel and striking command centers and a Hamas tunnel shaft. Israel reported 320 strikes the day before.

Hamas is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Israel, for its part, has vowed repeatedly since the attack to crush Hamas.

On Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told the UN Security Council that the proportionate response to the Oct. 7 attack is “a total destruction to the last one” of the militants. “It is not only Israel’s right to destroy Hamas. It’s our duty,” he said.

Across central and south Gaza, where Israel told civilians to take shelter, there were multiple scenes of rescuers pulling the dead and wounded out of large piles of rubble from collapsed buildings. Graphic photos and video shot by the AP showed rescuers unearthing bodies of children from multiple ruins.

A father knelt on the floor of the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah next to the bodies of three dead children cocooned in bloodied sheets. Later at the nearby morgue, workers prayed over 24 dead wrapped in body bags, several of them the size of small children.

Buildings that collapsed on residents killed dozens at a time in several cases, witnesses said. Two families lost a total 47 members in a leveled home in Rafah, the Health Ministry said.

A strike on a four-story building in Khan Younis killed at least 32 people, including 13 members of the Saqallah family, said Ammar Al-Butta, a relative who survived the airstrike. He said there were about 100 people sheltering in the building, including many who had evacuated from Gaza City.

“We thought that our area would be safe,” he said.

Another strike destroyed a bustling marketplace in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, witnesses said. AP photos showed the floor of a vegetable shop covered with blood.

In Gaza City, at least 19 people were killed when an airstrike hit the house of the Bahloul family, according to survivors, who said dozens more people remained buried. The legs of a dead woman and another person, both still half buried, dangled out of the wreckage where workers dug through the dirt, concrete and rebar.

The Health Ministry says more than 5,700 Palestinians have been killed in the war, including some 2,300 minors. The figure includes the disputed toll from an explosion at a hospital last week.

As the death toll in Gaza spirals, and fuel supplies dwindle, the number of facilities able to deal with casualties is shrinking. More than half of primary health care facilities, and roughly 1 of every 3 hospitals, have stopped functioning, the World Health Organization said.

Overwhelmed hospital staff struggled to triage cases as constant waves of wounded were brought in. The Health Ministry said many wounded are laid on the ground without even simple medical intervention and others wait for days for surgeries because there are so many critical cases.

Source: Arab News

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