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The death toll in the Gaza Strip from Israeli airstrikes has passed 5,000

On Monday, Gaza’s Health Ministry released an updated death toll from Israel’s ongoing airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave.

Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told a news conference in Gaza City, that the death toll had passed five thousand. He said:

The fatalities include 2,055 children, 1,119 women and 217 elders.

Al-Qudra also said that 15,273 people were also injured in the Israeli attacks. He added:

The Israeli occupation committed 23 massacres in the past 24 hours that left 436 people dead, including 182 children.

According to the Ministry of Health 1,500 people, including 830 children, are still under the rubble.

Since 7 November, there has been a dramatic escalation in the conflict between Hamas and Israel. Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket fire and infiltration into Israel by land, sea and air. Hamas said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the growing Israeli settler violence against Palestinians. On the same day, the Israeli army launched Operation Iron Swords against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. According to Israeli authorities, more than 1,400 Israelis have been killed in Hamas attacks since 7 October.

At least 212 Israeli and foreign nationals are being held captive in Gaza, the Israeli authorities have said. Two hostages were released last Friday. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has repeatedly called upon Hamas to release hostages immediately and unconditionally.

Israel has declared a total siege on the Gaza Strip. Water, gas and fuel supplies to the region have been cut off. Amid continued shelling, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced in search of shelter. Israel has continued bombarding Gaza’s south despite telling 1.1 million people in the north of the besieged enclave to relocate there ahead of an expected ground offensive.

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