Published: 09:43, November 20, 2023 | Updated: 17:46, November 20, 2023
Palestinian death toll in Gaza surpasses 13,000
By Xinhua

Hundreds of people with their children light candles during a march against Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip, on the Mediterranean Sea corniche in Beirut, Lebanon, Nov 10, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

GAZA/UNITED NATIONS - Gaza's government media office announced on Sunday that the Palestinian death toll in the Gaza Strip has exceeded 13,000 since the Israel-Hamas conflict erupted on Oct 7.

Ismail al-Thawabta, the director general of the media office, said at a press conference that among the dead were 5,500 children and 3,500 women, while more than 30,000 others were variously injured.

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The number of missing persons has surpassed 6,000, including 4,000 children and women still under the rubble of buildings destroyed by Israeli attacks,according to Gaza's government media office

Al-Thawabta said the number of missing persons has surpassed 6,000, including 4,000 children and women still under the rubble of buildings destroyed by Israeli attacks.

Israel has been carrying out attacks on Gaza over the past weeks to retaliate against the Hamas surprise attack on southern Israel on Oct 7, during which Hamas militants killed about 1,200 people and took more than 200 hostages.  

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Monday that its ground operations across the Gaza Strip were continuing, killing three Hamas company commanders.

The killing of the three Hamas company commanders was based on intelligence information supplied by the Shin Bet and Military Intelligence Directorate, according to a statement from the Israeli military.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday once again called for a humanitarian ceasefire, in response to the increasing number of deaths in Gaza.

"This war is having a staggering and unacceptable number of civilian casualties, including women and children, every day," the top UN official said in a statement. "This must stop. I reiterate my call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire."

Spikes in casualties, attacks on schools and shelters, including the death of a UN worker, and crippling fuel shortages blocking aid deliveries rippled across Gaza over the weekend.

"I am deeply shocked that two UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) schools were struck in less than 24 hours in Gaza. Dozens of people -- many women and children -- were killed and injured as they were seeking safety in United Nations premises," the secretary-general said.

He added that hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians are seeking shelter at United Nations facilities throughout Gaza due to the intensified fighting. "I reaffirm that our premises are inviolable."

This photo released by Dr Marawan Abu Saada shows prematurely born Palestinian babies in Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Nov 12, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

Also on Sunday, thirty-one premature babies at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza city were evacuated, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said in a statement.

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The statement said the PRCS crews transported the babies to a hospital in Rafah city in the south of the Strip.

The newborns, in rapidly deteriorating condition, were at imminent risk of death, following the tragic death of several other babies and the total collapse of all medical services at Al-Shifa, the UN Children's Fund said in a statement.