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Palestinian death toll exceeds 10,000 as Israel continues relentless ‘war crimes’ in Gaza

The Gaza Strip, Palestine – The Palestinian death toll has officially exceeded 10,000, including an unprecedented amount of women and children, as indiscriminate Israeli airstrikes against Gaza began precisely one month ago. The human misery is only set to compound, however, as overburdened hospitals are set to run out of fuel amid a tightening Israeli blockade, which has so far only allowed a trickle of aid to reach thousands wounded and displaced.

On Monday, Gaza’s Ministry of Health issued a statement that revealed the death toll in the latest Israeli conflict has climbed to at least 10,022 Palestinians, including 4,104 children. While the number is already astronomically high, reports indicate it could be higher, as many victims remain trapped under the rubble of destroyed residential homes and other buildings laid to ruin by Israeli warplanes.

A Palestinian rescue crew stands amid rubble from the site of an Israeli airstrike on the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

With fuel supplies running critically low, 16 out of Gaza’s 35 remaining hospitals have been compelled to halt operations. The number of people injured since hostilities renewed on October 7 has risen to a staggering 25,408, as reported by a Health Ministry spokesperson. The number only grows, and in the past several hours, Israel has carried out 18 attacks, resulting in the loss of 252 lives.

Moreover, the United Nations has reported that over 1.4 million people, representing more than half of Gaza’s population, have been forced to flee their homes due to the ongoing crisis. Over 2 million people are having difficulty finding drinking water.

“The number is expected to go up as at least 2,000 people remain under the rubble,” said Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud from the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. “The problem is, with lack of heavy equipment and machinery, the rescue teams on the ground are unable to remove and pull out these bodies from under the rubble.”

“How many more deaths will it take for this assault to be brought to an end – 50,000, 100,000?” Said Fikr Shalltoot, Gaza director of the UK-based Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). “As we witness our homes, hospitals and schools turned to rubble, we are crying out for a shred of humanity from world leaders.”

Wael Al-Dahdouh, a journalist with Al Jazeera, mourns the loss of his wife, son, and daughter at their funeral. According to estimates made by watchdog groups, approximately 35+ journalists have lost their lives from Israeli strikes since the war began. Photo: Ashraf Amra, Anadolu/Getty Images

With access to vital goods such as fuel, food, and electricity severely restricted due to an Israeli blockade, international agencies and heads of state have called for an immediate ceasefire. The International Red Cross (ICRC) released a statement that urgently called for the “cessation” of human suffering experienced by civilians in Gaza, with a particular emphasis on the plight of children. They strongly criticized the situation as a “moral failing.”

“One month on, civilians in Gaza and Israel are being forced to endure tremendous suffering and loss. This needs to stop,” read a statement by the ICRC’s President, Mirjana Spoljaric. “Children have been ripped from their families and held hostage. In Gaza, ICRC surgeons treat toddlers whose skin is charred from widespread burns…The images of suffering, dead, and wounded children will haunt us all. This is a moral failing.”

According to MAP, the casualties can be directly attributed to Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of civilian homes, hospitals, refugee camps, and schools. US taxpayers largely subsidize the arsenal of destruction possessed by Israel. The heavy ordinance has been liberally applied to Gazan neighborhoods well after the IDF’s slow-moving ground invasion commenced several days ago.

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However, both Israel and its primary ally, the United States, have rejected calls for a ceasefire. They argue that a cessation of hostilities could provide an opportunity for Hamas to regroup. The U.S. has indicated a willingness to support a temporary pause in fighting to allow more assistance to enter Gaza, although Israel has shown limited enthusiasm for this proposal.

Israeli leaders have infamously vowed to “destroy Hamas,” Gaza’s democratically elected government, but have found key leaders of the resistance movement to be illusive or hidden inside well-defended underground tunnels. In a statement made by Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant described Gaza as “the biggest terror base mankind has ever built,” despite being home to millions of civilians for decades.

In the face of overwhelming military power, Hamas militants continue to eke out what can only be described as heroic victories against the IDF. On social media, jaw-dropping videos depicting Hamas infantry disabling and destroying multimillion-dollar Merkava tanks using improvised explosives have become critically acclaimed. The resistance’s adoption of 3rd generation warfare tactics, including urban ambushes, hit-and-run raids, and the use of hunter-seeker drones, appear to have stymied the IDF from making any significant gains, according to reports.

Palestinians assess the destruction caused by Israeli airstrikes in the Jabaliya refugee camp, located on the outskirts of Gaza City. The decision to bomb Jabaliya provoked the Biden administration to demand an “explanation” from the Israeli regime, as casualties from the attack were reported to be in the dozens. Photo: Abdul Qader Sabbah, Associated Press

As conditions worsen and the death toll continues to climb, Israel has faced international condemnation for its alleged anti-Palestinian “war crimes,” and a growing chorus of calls for an end to the conflict. In late October, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian truce. Despite this, the bombs, bullets, and artillery continue to rain.

“Are you enjoying this … horror movie?” asked Zak Hania, a resident of the al-Shati refugee camp, in an interview with Al Jazeera. “How many people need to die, need to be killed, for the people, for the world, for the world leaders to move to do something? We asked for a ceasefire. We are all civilians.”

The ongoing Israeli war against the Palestinian people in Gaza has, so far, resulted in a number of scandals, setbacks, and atrocities that have generated worldwide outrage. In October, at least 500 Palestinians were killed after a suspected Israeli airstrike devastated a Christian hospital. The blast has been labeled a “massacre” that some believe is the worst to occur in the past 75 years.

At the onset of the war, Israeli media and political figures flooded social media with unverified photos, videos, and accounts of “atrocity propaganda” centering around initial attacks launched by Hamas on October 7th. The tactic gave way to a number of pro-Israeli conspiracy theories that online researchers quickly debunked. In the aftermath, many suspected it was an early attempt by Israel to garner international sympathy for its ongoing war effort.

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