Palestinian death toll hits 9,500; over half of them children, women

The death toll from Israeli bombardments in the Gaza Strip has risen to 9,500, with over half of them women and children, the government media office in the Gaza Strip announced on Saturday. 'The death toll in result of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip since October 7 is 9,500, including 3,900 children and 2,509 women,' Salama Marouf, the head of the media office, told a press conference. The airstrikes also led to the destruction of 55 mosques, three universities, three churches, and five buildings belonging to the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs in Gaza, Marouf added. On losses in the health care sector, he said: 'Sixteen hospitals, 32 primary care centers, and 27 ambulances were damaged, in addition to 105 medical institutions.' In terms of residential buildings, the Israeli raids caused, according to Marouf, 'the destruction of 8,500 homes and 40,000 housing units, and damage to 220,000 other units, in addition to the damage to 88 government headquarters and 220 schools, 60 of which had to end service.' He said the Israeli occupation has intensified during the past 24 hours, coinciding with the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the region. Earlier Saturday, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza announced that 15 Palestinians were killed and more than 70 injured by Israeli bombing that targeted Al-Fakhoura School, affiliated with the UN agency UNRWA, in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. The residents of Gaza are suffering from a catastrophic humanitarian and health situation, as about 1.4 million people out of 2.3 million have been displaced from their homes. Israel continues to deny supplies of fuel, leaving many hospitals out of service. According to the UN and Red Cross, an insufficient amount of humanitarian aid is being allowed to the Gaza Strip, which has been under a near-total blockade for almost 30 days.

Source: Philippines News Agency