Death toll in Gaza climbs as humanitarian situation deteriorates

GAZA STRIP — The protracted conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, now entering its third month, shows no signs of abating as it claims more lives, with the Palestinian death toll surging to 22,438 individuals, as reported by the Gaza Ministry of Health.

Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra confirmed a grim escalation, revealing that Israeli shelling over the past 24 hours resulted in the tragic loss of 125 lives, while 318 others sustained injuries. In Khan Yunis, located in the southern Gaza Strip, ongoing Israeli bombardment claimed the lives of 2 individuals, leaving several others wounded, according to the Palestinian News Agency.

The destructive impact of Israeli shelling extended to the town of Khuza’a and adjacent areas east of Khan Yunis, where residential blocks were obliterated. In Rafah, a targeted Israeli raid on a house in the southern Gaza Strip led to the death of 5 Palestinians and numerous injuries. Additionally, a house in Al-Maghazi Camp in the central Gaza Strip was hit, resulting in further casualties.

The Palestinian Authority decried Israel’s displacement tactics, asserting that approximately 2 million people in Gaza were forcibly uprooted and cramped into a confined space in the southern regions. This coercive strategy, they claim, is aimed at funneling them towards the border. The UN reported the arrival of one million displaced individuals in Rafah, highlighting deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Khan Yunis and Deir al-Balah due to Israeli Army evacuation orders.

A UN report underscores the gravity of the situation, estimating that 1,900,000 people, representing 85% of the total population of the Gaza Strip, are now displaced. Urgent calls resonate for securing suitable accommodations for these displaced individuals, many of whom are compelled to spend nights in the open amid the intensifying crisis.