War between Israel and Hamas: The Gaza Ministry of Health says more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed

Rafah, Gaza Strip (AFP) – strike At least 70 people were killed early Thursday in a crowd of Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid in Gaza City, health officials said, bringing the death toll since the war between Israel and Hamas began to more than 30,000.

Gaza City and its surrounding areas in the northern Strip were Israel's first targets Air, sea and land attackwas launched in response to Hamas attack on October 7. The area suffered widespread destruction and was largely isolated during the conflict. Truckloads of food arrived in northern Gaza this week, the first major aid delivery to the area in a month, officials said on Wednesday.

Aid groups say it has become almost impossible to provide humanitarian aid in much of Gaza due to difficulty coordinating with the Israeli military, ongoing hostilities and a breakdown in public order, as crowds of desperate people crowd aid convoys. The United Nations says that a quarter of Gaza's population of 2.3 million Facing famine; About 80% have fled their homes.

Following Thursday's raid, paramedics found “dozens or hundreds” lying on the ground, according to Fares Afaneh, head of the ambulance service at Kamal Adwan Hospital. He said that there are not enough ambulances to transport all the dead and wounded, and that some are transported to hospitals on donkey carts.

Al Jazeera Network showed footage of a number of dead and wounded being transported to another nearby hospital, Al-Shifa Hospital, after the raid on a main road extending along the Mediterranean coast.

Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said that in addition to the dozens killed, another 280 people were injured in Thursday's raid.

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The Israeli army said it was looking into reports related to the strike.

Separately, the Ministry of Health said that the number of Palestinian deaths due to the war rose to 30,035, in addition to 70,457 wounded. It does not differentiate in its numbers between civilians and combatants, but says that women and children constitute about two-thirds of the dead.

The ministry, which is part of the Hamas-run government in Gaza, Maintains detailed records of victims. Its statistics from previous wars largely match those of the United Nations, independent experts, and even those of Israel itself.

The Hamas attack on southern Israel, which sparked the war, killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and the militants took about 250 hostage. Hamas and other militants are still standing About 100 hostages And the remains of about 30 others, after most of the other prisoners were released during the ceasefire in November.

Growing concern about hunger across Gaza has increased international calls for another ceasefire, and the United States, Egypt and Qatar are working to secure a ceasefire agreement. An agreement between Israel and Hamas to stop the fighting And the release of some hostages.

The mediators hope to reach an agreement before the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, approximately March 10. But so far, Israel and Hamas have maintained their position. Publicly diverging from their demands.

At the same time, UN officials warned of more casualties if Israel follows through on its pledges to attack The city of Rafah in the southMore than half of Gaza's 2.3 million people have taken refuge. They also say that the attack on Rafah may destroy what remains of the relief operations.

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Several hundred thousand Palestinians are believed to remain in northern Gaza despite Israeli orders to evacuate the area in October, and many have been forced to eat animal feed to survive. The United Nations says that one in six children under the age of two in the north suffers from acute malnutrition and wasting.

The Coordination Body of Government Activities in the Territories, the Israeli military body responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, said about 50 aid trucks entered northern Gaza this week. It was not clear who delivered the aid. Meanwhile, some countries have resorted to airdrops in recent days.

The World Food Program said earlier this month that it was Stop delivery to the north Due to the increasing chaos, after desperate Palestinians emptied a convoy that was on its way.

Since launching its offensive on Gaza following the Hamas attack on October 7, Israel has blocked the entry of food, water, medicine and other supplies with the exception of a small amount of aid entering the south from Egypt at the Rafah crossing and Israel's Kerem Shalom crossing. Despite international calls to allow more aid in, the number of supply trucks is far fewer than the 500 that arrived daily before the war.

The Office for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories said on Wednesday that Israel does not impose restrictions on the amount of aid it brings in. Israel blamed UN agencies for the bottleneck, saying hundreds of trucks were waiting on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing for aid workers to transport them.

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UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric responded on Wednesday, saying that large trucks entering Gaza must be unloaded and reloaded onto smaller trucks, but there are not enough of them, and there is a lack of security for aid distribution in Gaza.

Hamas-run police in Gaza stopped protecting convoys after Israeli raids on them near the crossing.

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Chehayeb reported from Beirut.

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Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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