More than 600 children killed in Gaza: health ministryBreaking

October 14, 2023

Israeli strikes on Gaza since Hamas’s deadly cross-border attack have killed at least 1,900 people, including 614 children, the territory’s health ministry said Friday. Some 370 women were among those killed in the seven days of air strikes, the Hamas-run health ministry said. It added that 7,696 people have been wounded. “Where to go?” asked Umm Hossam, 29, who was among the thousands fleeing. “How long will the strikes and death last? We have no homes left, every area of Gaza is under threat,” said the 29-year-old, her face streaked with tears, Hamas took about 150 Israeli, foreign and dual national hostages back to Gaza in the initial attack, Israel has said. Thousands of Palestinians fled to southern Gaza in search of refuge on Friday after Israel called for over a million of them to evacuate the north of the blockaded enclave before an expected ground offensive.

It comes amid continued strikes on the strip in retaliation for a surprise weekend attack by Hamas, the deadliest in Israel’s history. Saudi Arabia on Friday denounced the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza and attacks on “defenceless civilians”, its strongest language criticising Israel since the war broke out. Riyadh “affirms its categorical rejection of calls for the forced displacement of the Palestinian people from Gaza, and its condemnation of the continued targeting of defenceless civilians there,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. Tensions have risen across the Middle East and beyond, with angry protests in support of the Palestinians, while Israel faces the threat of a separate confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Thousands also demonstrated in support of the Palestinians on Friday in Beirut, Iraq, Iran and in Jordan. The United Nations described the immediate movement of nearly half of the 2.4 million in the Gaza Strip as “impossible” called for the evacuation order to be rescinded. Hospitals are struggling to cope with the dead and wounded and the health system was “at a breaking point”, the World Health Organization said. Israel faces a potential second front in the north after Hezbollah group in Lebanon said it was “fully prepared” to join Hamas in the war when the time was right. There has been cross-border fire in recent days, sparking concern about regional stability and prompting the United States to send additional munitions and its largest aircraft carrier.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan (INP)