Humanitarian Crisis Deepens: Gaza Death Toll Exceeds 25,000 as Israel Escalates Assault

The Palestinian death toll in Israel’s offensive on Gaza has surpassed 25,000, according to the Ministry of Health.

On Sunday, Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra confirmed 178 additional deaths in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 25,105 over more than three months of Israel’s conflict with Gaza.

The Israeli bombardment commenced after a surprise attack by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7, resulting in at least 1,139 deaths, according to an Al Jazeera tally based on official Israeli statistics. Palestinian armed groups also took around 250 Israelis hostage.

The Palestinian death toll in Israel’s assault on Gaza has now surpassed 25,000. Credit: supplied.
The Palestinian death toll in Israel’s assault on Gaza has now surpassed 25,000. Credit: supplied.

Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud, reporting from Rafah in southern Gaza, highlighted intense ground fighting near a key hospital in Khan Younis. He described street-to-street and house-to-house fighting, with snipers positioned in high-rise buildings.

The day before, Israeli shelling east of the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza claimed four Palestinian lives and injured 21 others, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned Israel for the “heartbreaking” deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, calling Israel’s military operations unprecedented in scale.

Guterres emphasised that the resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies in accepting the right of Palestinians to statehood and embracing a two-state solution. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubled down on his opposition to Palestinian statehood just a day earlier.

The Israeli assault has left at least 62,681 people wounded, with 85 percent of Gaza’s population displaced, seeking refuge in UN-run camps in challenging conditions. The UN highlighted “famine-like” conditions in Gaza, where one in four of the 2.3 million population faces extreme hunger. Severe Israeli restrictions on shipments and ongoing fighting have hindered the delivery of much-needed aid.

The UN stressed that women and children are the primary victims of the conflict. Netanyahu has pledged to continue the offensive until Hamas is eradicated, raising concerns about regional tensions escalating.

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