Palestinian death toll from Israeli attacks on Gaza reaches 1,799
Over 6,600 Palestinians wounded in Israeli bombardment of besieged enclave, says Health Ministry
The number of Palestinians killed from a massive Israeli air campaign against the Gaza Strip has risen to 1,799, the Health Ministry said Friday.
At least 6,612 people were wounded in the bombardment since Saturday, including 1,644 children and 1,005 women, the ministry said in a statement.
In a dramatic escalation of Middle East tensions, Israeli forces launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israeli territories.
The conflict began last Saturday when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea, and air.
Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.
Israel's response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.
*Writing by Ikram Kouachi in Ankara
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