Israel’s widening air and ground offensive in southern Gaza has displaced tens of thousands more Palestinians and worsened the enclave’s dire humanitarian conditions, with the fighting preventing distribution of food, water and medicine outside a tiny sliver of southern Gaza and new military evacuation orders squeezing people into ever-smaller areas of the south.
The United Nations said 1.87 million people — more than 80% of Gaza’s population — have been driven from their homes since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, triggered by the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas assault on southern Israel. The U.N. also says that all telecom services were shut down due to cuts in the main fiber routes.
On Tuesday, Israel’s military entered Khan Younis, Gaza’s second-largest city, in its pursuit to wipe out the territory’s Hamas rulers. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the military must retain open-ended security control over the Gaza Strip long after the war ends. Around 1,200 people have been killed on the Israeli side, mainly civilians killed during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.
The Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said the death toll in the territory has surpassed 16,200, with more than 42,000 wounded. The ministry does not differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths, but said 70% of the dead were women and children.
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Here’s what’s happening in the war:
GAZA’S HEALTH MINISTRY SAYS THE WAR DEATH TOLL IS MORE THAN 16,200
KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — The Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says 16,248 Palestinians have been killed and more than 42,000 wounded since the Israel-Hamas war broke out two months ago.
The ministry said Tuesday evening that the death toll included more than 6,000 children and more than 4,000 women. The ministry does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.
The figures show a sharp rise in deaths since a weeklong truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed on Dec. 1. Since the resumption of fighting Friday, more than 1,000 Palestinians were killed, according to the Health Ministry. The United States had urged Israel to do more to protect Palestinian civilians as its blistering air and ground campaign shifted to southern Gaza, particularly in and around Khan Younis, the territory’s second largest city.