Death Toll Soars in Gaza as Israel-Hamas War Rages On

The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza has claimed at least 35,034 lives and wounded 78,755 people since October 7, 2023. The conflict has left 85% of Gaza's population internally displaced amid severe shortages of essential supplies.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Death Toll Soars in Gaza as Israel-Hamas War Rages On

Death Toll Soars in Gaza as Israel-Hamas War Rages On

The ongoing war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza has claimed at least 35,034 lives and wounded 78,755 people since it began on October 7, 2023. As the conflict rages on, the Gaza Strip faces a dire humanitarian crisis, with vast swathes of the enclave lying in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Why this matters: The devastating humanitarian crisis in Gaza has far-reaching implications for regional stability and global humanitarian efforts, highlighting the need for urgent diplomatic intervention and international cooperation. The conflict's impact on civilians, including journalists, also underscores the importance of protecting human rights and press freedom in conflict zones.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continue to conduct clearing operations across all governorates of Gaza, with recent offensives focused on Zaytoun in southern Gaza City and Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF has issued evacuation orders for civilians in Jabalia and Rafah, with an estimated 300,000 Gazans already moved to a designated humanitarian zone north of Rafah.

Hamas fighters have launched attacks against Israeli forces using small arms, improvised explosive devices, and mortar fire in Zaytoun. The IDF reports locating a large quantity of weapons, including some in a clinic, and killing a Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighter who participated in the initial Hamas attack into Israel on October 7, 2023 that sparked the current conflict.

Israeli warplanes have been pounding all governorates of the Gaza Strip, resulting in dozens of fatalities and injuries. Medical sources report that at least 21 Palestinians were killed and dozens more injured in Israeli attacks on the central governorate alone. Airstrikes have targeted residences in various locations, including Al Zawaida, Al Maghazi camp, and Al Masdar.

The war has caused "horrific human suffering, devastating lives, tearing families apart, and rendering huge numbers of people homeless, hungry, and traumatized," according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He has urged an immediate halt to the war, the return of hostages seized by Hamas, and a "surge" in humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The World Food Programme reports that humanitarian aid has not entered the Gaza Strip from the southern border crossings in three days, as the key Rafah crossing with Egypt remains shuttered. UN officials state that aid is not entering through the Kerem Shalom crossing due to heavy fighting in the area. Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, with an interim ruling in January ordering Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and guarantee humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.

The conflict has taken a severe toll on journalists covering the war, with at least 97 journalists and media workers killed since October 7, 2023, making it the deadliest period for journalists since the Committee to Protect Journalists began gathering data in 1992. Journalists in Gaza face high risks from devastating Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, supply shortages, and extensive power outages.

As the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza enters its eighth month, the death toll continues to rise, with Palestinian health authorities reporting that at least 34,971 Palestinians have been killed and 78,641 injured in the Israeli offensive since October 7, 2023. In the last 24 hours alone, 28 people were killed and 69 others injured in Israeli attacks, with many still trapped under rubble as rescuers struggle to reach them. The ongoing conflict has left 85% of Gaza's population internally displaced amid severe shortages of essential supplies.