Israel-Gaza war: Hamas reports 241 killed in Gaza inside 24 hours

Source: BBC 

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry has said at least 241 people were killed in the past 24 hours, as Israel’s military operation continues in the territory.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called the war a “grave crime” against his people.

Israel’s army chief Herzi Halevi said the conflict with Hamas would continue for “many more months”.

Israel says it hit more than 100 sites on Tuesday, amid reports of impending ground operations in central Gaza.

Loud explosions could be heard from the Gaza Strip across the perimeter with Israel in the early hours of Wednesday. 

In the occupied West Bank, Palestinian medical sources say six Palestinians were killed in an overnight Israeli drone strike in the Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarem.

Gaza’s health ministry said 382 people had also been injured over the same 24 hours.

According to the ministry, at least 20,915 Palestinians have been killed – mostly children and women – in more than 11 weeks of fighting.

The claims by the warring sides have not been independently verified.

The war began on 7 October after Hamas led a wave of deadly attacks on communities inside Israel. Some 1,200 people, mainly civilians, were killed. About 240 people were taken back to Gaza as hostages, and a number of them were later released.

President Abbas has described the war in the Gaza Strip as “beyond a catastrophe” and “beyond a war of annihilation”.

He called it unprecedented in the history of the Palestinian people. Speaking in Ramallah to an Egyptian TV channel in his first interview since the war began, he said the territory had become unrecognisable and warned that the occupied West Bank could implode at any time. 

The Palestinian leader accused Washington of prolonging the war by vetoing UN draft resolutions calling for a ceasefire.

Lt Gen Halevi, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), told a news conference that the war would “continue for many more months” to ensure that Israel’s “achievements are preserved for a long time”.

“There are no shortcuts when it comes to thoroughly dismantling a terrorist organisation except being stubborn and determined in the fighting,” he said. “There are no magic solutions.”

Acknowledging that the terrain was complex, the general vowed to arrest or eliminate the Hamas leadership even if it took time, adding that the IDF was close to dismantling all the Hamas battalions in northern Gaza.

Israeli and Arab media say that Egypt has proposed a plan for a ceasefire.

According to reports, the plan would see the phased release of all Israeli hostages and an undetermined number of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, ending with a suspension of Israel’s offensive.

A previous temporary truce deal negotiated by Qatar saw dozens of hostages released from Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. So far, both Israel and Hamas have resisted calls for a lasting ceasefire.

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