Gaza death toll surges to more than 14,800
Gaza: As the four-day humanitarian pause agreed between Israel and Hamas is set to begin on Friday, the death toll in the Gaza Strip has increased to more than 14,800, according to the Government Media Office (GMO) in the enclave.
In its latest update, the Hamas-controlled GMO said the dead included about 6,000 children and 4,000 women.
This Office has assumed the Palestinian Ministry of Health’s role following the collapse of services and communications at hospitals in north Gaza.
On Monday, the Ministry in Ramallah, which takes its data from hospitals and other sources in the Gaza Strip, put the number killed at 12,700.
But health updates since then, the Ministry said serious disruptions to communications networks in Gaza have made its own efforts at accurate data collection impossible, CNN reported.
Meanwhile, the number of injured persons have also soared to more than 35,000.
On Thursday, the Israeli military continued calling and exerting pressure on residents of the north to leave southwards through a “corridor” along the main traffic artery, Salah Ad Deen Road, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
OCHA data estimates that less than 500 people had moved south, the second-lowest volume of movement observed since the “corridor” was opened.
The low volume however, is largely attributed to the expectations generated by the humanitarian pause to be implemented from Friday.
The pause agreement will reportedly involve the release of some of the Israeli hostages held in Gaza and some Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.
Since the war erupted on October 7, over 1.7 million people in Gaza have been estimated to be internally displaced.
Of them, about 1 million are staying in at least 156 UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) shelters across the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday, Israeli forces continued their operation in and around the Al-Shifa Hospital for the eighth consecutive day.
Some 250 patients and staff members are estimated to remain at Shifa, currently non-operational due to critical shortages of power, water and medical supplies.
As of Friday morning, the overall death toll in Israel stood at over 1,200.
So far, the names of most fatalities in Israel have been released, including 859 civilians and police officers.
Of those whose ages have been provided, 33 are children.
Also the number of Israeli soldiers killed since the start of the ground offensive in Gaza has remained 75.
According to the Israeli authorities, 235 people are held captive in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign nationals.
About 40 of them are reportedly children.
So far, four civilian hostages have been released by Hamas; one Israeli soldier was rescued by Israeli forces; and three bodies of hostages have reportedly been retrieved by Israeli forces.
In the West Bank, the number of fatalities have spiked to 223, of which 211 are Palestinians.