April 22, 2024

More than 25,000 Palestinians now killed in Gaza since Israel offensive began

More than 25,000 people have now been killed in Gaza during Israel’s offensive there, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

It said there had been 178 deaths in the last 24 hours, making it one of the deadliest days in the war so far. As fighting continued, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again rejected creating a Palestinian state.

The White House has said the US and Israel “clearly see things differently” when it comes to a two-state solution.

Israel began its offensive following the 7 October attack in which Hamas fighters killed 1,300 people in southern Israel and took more than 240 hostage.

In its first public account of the October assault, published on Sunday, Hamas described it as a “necessary step” against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and a way to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Israel’s air and ground operation is currently focusing on southern Gaza, where the military are convinced top Hamas commanders are holed up in, or beneath, the city of Khan Younis.

That is where the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it had discovered another tunnel, some 830m (2,700ft) long and containing booby-traps and blast doors.

The IDF footage showed what appeared to be a tunnel with mattresses and cells inside – it is where Israel believes around 20 hostages, including children, were held at various points. None were found when the tunnel was discovered, though.

Israeli soldiers have also faced renewed attacks in the north of the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is said to have seized an opening around the town of Jabalia as Israel moved troops and tanks south.

More than three months since the conflict erupted, Israel – whose army far outstrips Hamas’s capabilities – is still facing significant resistance across Gaza.

US intelligence agencies reportedly estimate that the Israeli military has killed 20-30% of Hamas fighters, which falls far short of Mr Netanyahu’s stated aim of “completely destroying” the armed group.

The classified report is also said to have found that Hamas still has enough munitions to continue striking Israel and Israeli forces for months, raising the spectre of a prolonged war in which Israel could get bogged down.

Source: BBC

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