At least 2,215 people, including 724 children have died after Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip since Hamas’s attack on southern Israel one week ago.
This development was revealed by the Palestinian territory’s Hamas-controlled health ministry Saturday, The Daily Star reports.
After an earlier statement said at least 324 people were killed in the past 24 hours alone, the ministry revealed that 458 women were among those killed and 8,714 people have also been wounded.
The retaliation by Israel has also made thousands of Palestinians leave the north of the Gaza Strip on Saturday from the path of an expected Israeli ground assault.
Meanwhile, Israel said said it would keep two roads open to let people escape after attacking the area with more air strikes.
Moreover, an ultimatum has been given by Israel to the entire population of the northern half of the Gaza Strip and its City, until Saturday morning to move south.
Israel also assured the safety of Palestinians fleeing the area on two main roads until 4:00 pm in announcement made overnight.
According to Israeli military spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus in a video briefing early on Saturday, Israel is ready for the next stage of operations. He said, “Around the Gaza Strip, Israeli reserve soldiers in formation (are) getting ready for the next stage of operations,”
“They are all around the Gaza Strip, in the south, in the centre and in the north, and they are preparing themselves for whatever target they get, whatever task.”
Residents who posted appeals on social media platforms also disclosed that in Gaza City’s Tel Al-Hawa neighbourhood, part of the area Israel has ordered evacuated, warplanes bombed a residential area during the night, hitting several houses.
Hundreds of residents of the area took refuge at the nearby Quds hospital and planned to join those fleeing to the south in the morning.
Speaking to Reuters by telephone, a father of three from the hospital, who refused to give his name for fear of reprisals said, “We lived a night of horror. Israel punished us for not wanting to leave our home. Is there brutality worse than this?”
“I was never going to leave, I prefer to die and not leave, but I can’t see my wife children die before my eyes. We are helpless.”
In Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli planes struck a four-storey building, killing and wounding several people. Dozens of Palestinians were rushing there to help rescue people trapped in the rubble.
“This is a genocide, not a war, it’s genocide. And it’s an attempt to displace the people of the Gaza Strip, but this will not happen,” said neighbour Mohammad Sadeq. “Martyrs are stuck under the rubble and until now neither us nor the medics nor civil defence were able to take them out.”