Israeli forces have killed at least 16,248 people, including 7,112 children and 4,885 women, in Gaza since 7 October, a statement from the Hamas media office has said.
The figure includes 7,112 children and 4,885 women. This does not take into account about 7,600 people buried under collapsed buildings.
At least 43,616 people have been injured and at least 7,600 people are missing, according to the statement.
It added, “During the aggression on Gaza, Israeli forces dropped more than 50,000 tonnes of explosives on civilian homes, hospitals, schools and other institutions, destroying 52,000 housing units, 69 schools, 121 government buildings and 100 mosques.”
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The office also highlighted the desperate humanitarian situation facing the internally displaced, saying it has become increasingly difficult to secure food, water, and adequate shelter – a “death sentence” for 2.3 million people in Gaza.
UK’s tabloid, The Guardian reported that Israeli forces have reported the most intense day of fighting in Gaza since the ground attack began nearly six weeks ago, with offensives stepped up in northern and southern Gaza and reports of a rise in civilian deaths.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Tuesday they had mounted an attack into the heart of Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, and that paratroopers and Navy commandos had raided the Hamas general security headquarters there.
Heavy fighting was also reported in Shujai’iya, another Hamas stronghold in the north. The IDF spokesperson, Lt Col Richard Hecht said the fighting in the north had been “close-quarter and face-to-face”.
At the same time, the bombing of Gaza’s second city, Khan Younis, in the south of the coastal strip, intensified before an expected ground incursion. Israeli tanks were reported to be at the entrance to the city. Armoured vehicles were reported to have taken up positions on the southern section of the main north-south highway running through Gaza and to be firing on Palestinians trying to move through the area in cars or on foot.