Death toll in Gaza exceeds 10,000; The United Nations calls it a children’s graveyard

  • Recent Developments:
  • Biden and Netanyahu discuss suspension, aid, hostages – White House
  • UN says 89 aid workers killed
  • Pictures of hostages on Jerusalem’s Old City Wall

GAZA, Nov. 6 — Gaza is becoming a “children’s graveyard,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday, as Palestinian health officials said the death toll from Israeli attacks had surpassed 10,000. .

Israel and Hamas militants, which control Gaza, have rejected international pressure for a ceasefire. Israel says it must first release hostages taken during the October 7 rampage by Hamas in southern Israel; Hamas says it cannot release them or stop fighting when Gaza comes under attack.

“Civilians, hospitals, refugee camps, mosques, churches and UN facilities – including shelters – have been hit by the Israeli Defense Forces’ ground operations and continuous bombardment. No one is safe,” Guterres told reporters.

“At the same time, Hamas and other militants use civilians as human shields and continue to fire rockets indiscriminately at Israel,” he said, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

Israel said 31 soldiers had been killed since it began expanding ground operations in Gaza on October 27, and reiterated that Hamas was hiding in civilians and hospitals. The notion that Hamas is based in hospitals is a “false story that the UN needs to check.”

Israel’s overnight air, ground and sea bombardment was one of its most intense since the Oct. 7 attack that killed 1,400 people and took more than 240 hostages, a Reuters journalist in Gaza said.

At least 10,022 people, including 4,104 children, were killed in Gaza, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled enclave.

“Gaza is becoming a children’s graveyard. Hundreds of women and boys are killed or injured every day,” Guterres said.

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International organizations say hospitals are unable to cope with the injured, and aid is not getting enough food and clean water.

Among the dead were UN. Guterres said that includes 89 people working for the Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA). UNRWA reports that five colleagues have been killed in the past 24 hours alone.

“We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. It must stop now,” said an earlier statement by 18 UN bodies.

Like Israel, the US has been pushing hard to arrange pauses in the conflict to allow aid instead of a full ceasefire, arguing that Hamas militants would take advantage.

US President Joe Biden discussed such suspensions and hostage releases in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, reiterating his support for Israel while insisting it must protect civilians, the White House said.

The faces of the hostages were displayed on the wall of Jerusalem’s Old City to mark one month of the attack.

Israel says it is closing in on Hamas

The Israeli military said its forces had captured a militant compound and were ready to attack Hamas militants hiding in underground tunnels and bunkers in the northern Gaza Strip, isolating the area with troops and tanks. It released video of tanks moving through bomb-strewn streets and groups of troops moving on foot.

“Now we’re going to start closing in on them,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht told reporters.

Hamas’ armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, claimed to have damaged 27 Israeli military vehicles in 48 hours and inflicted significant casualties in direct engagements with Israeli troops.

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The health ministry in Gaza said dozens of people were killed by Israeli airstrikes in the north and south, including at Gaza City’s Rantisi Cancer Hospital, where eight people were killed. The Israeli military said it was investigating the report.

A spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry said the airstrikes also hit a building belonging to Al Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, where 170 people are being treated and hundreds of evacuees are sheltering. He said one person died and many others were injured. Israel said it did not attack the hospital.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it had taken four ambulance convoys of patients from Gaza City to the Rafah border with Egypt. The evacuations have been suspended since an Israeli attack on an ambulance on Friday, but three Egyptian security sources said dozens of foreign passport holders had also left on Monday.

BLINKEN on regional tour

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has toured the region to try to prevent an escalation of the conflict, plan for a secure future for Israelis and Palestinians and secure more aid.

“We will see in the coming days that aid will expand in significant ways,” Blinken said in Turkey.

He visited Gaza on Sunday and held talks with Arab leaders in Israel and neighboring Jordan to show support for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

US CIA director William Burns also visited Israel and was scheduled to visit other states in the region, the New York Times reported. The CIA did not respond to a request for comment.

Israel said it was striking Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in retaliation for a barrage of rockets fired into northern Israeli towns, intensifying the worst clashes along the Israel-Lebanon border since 2006.

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Hamas said it fired 16 missiles at Nahariya and southern Haifa in Israel.

Meanwhile, people searched for victims or survivors at Makasi refugee camp in Gaza, where the health ministry said Israeli forces killed at least 47 people in attacks early Sunday.

“Throughout the night, I and other men tried to pick up the dead from the rubble. We found children, mutilated, torn bodies,” said Saeed al-Nejma, 53. Reached for comment, the Israeli military said it was gathering details. .

The Israeli military said a four-hour window for civilians to leave the north would be renewed daily. A UN monitor showed fewer than 2,000 people used the corridor on Sunday, citing fear and road damage. A US diplomat said 350,000 to 400,000 people were still in the north on Saturday.

(In paragraph 13, this story is reprinted to show that Benjamin Netanyahu is the Prime Minister of Israel, not the President of Israel.)

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza, Ali Sawafta and Simon Lewis in Ramallah, Dan Williams and Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem, Michael Nichols in the United Nations, Trevor Hunnicutt in Washington, Gabriel Tederalt-Farber and Omar-Appeneva in Emma Farge. Razek and Nayera Abdullah; Written by David Lauder, William Maclean and Philippa Fletcher; Editing by Timothy Heritage, Christina Fincher and Alison Williams

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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A veteran reporter with nearly 25 years of experience covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including several wars and the signing of the first historic peace agreement between the two sides.

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