Palestinian death toll in Gaza has risen above 30,000, says health ministry

29 February 2024, 10:24

Israel Palestinians Cease fire Deal Explainer
Israel Palestinians Cease fire Deal Explainer. Picture: PA

Gaza’s health ministry, which is part of the Hamas-run government, maintains detailed records of casualties.

More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war nearly five months ago, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

The figure was revealed as a strike on a crowd of people waiting for aid in Gaza City killed at least 70 and wounded more than 280, according to health officials.

Dr Hussam Abu Safiya, the director of the Kamal Adwan Hospital, said it had received at least 10 bodies and 160 wounded people.

Israel Palestinians
A Palestinian woman prays for a relative killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip (Hatem Ali/AP)

Fares Afana, the head of the ambulance service at Kamal Adwan, said medics arriving at the scene found “dozens or hundreds” lying on the ground. He said there were not enough ambulances to collect all the dead and wounded and that some were brought to hospitals on donkey carts.

Dr Mohammad Salha, acting director of the Al-Awda Hospital, said it received 90 wounded and three dead, who were transferred to Kamal Adwan.

“We expect a rise in the number killed,” he said. “There are many wounded still at the reception and the emergency room.”

He said Al-Awda is largely out of commission, with no electricity and the operating room running on battery power with only hours left. Gaza’s health sector is under severe strain nearly five months into the Israel-Hamas war.

The Israeli military said it was looking into the reports.

The deadliest violence in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict erupted when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostages.

Israel responded with one of the deadliest and most destructive military campaigns in recent history.

The war has driven 80% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million Palestinians from their homes and UN officials say a quarter of the population is starving.

Israel Palestinians
Israeli soldiers stand on their tank near the Israel-Gaza border (Tsafrir Abayov/AP)

The ministry said that 30,035 have been killed and another 70,457 wounded since the start of the war.

Gaza’s health ministry, which is part of the Hamas-run government, maintains detailed records of casualties.

Its counts from previous wars have largely matched those of the UN, independent experts and even Israel’s own tallies.

The ministry does not differentiate between civilians and combatants in its count but says women and children make up around two-thirds of those killed.

It says the actual toll is higher because there are bodies buried under the rubble and in areas that medics cannot reach.

Israel has vowed to continue the war until it destroys Hamas’s military and governing capabilities and returns more than 100 hostages still held by the group.

By Press Association

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