Gaza death toll crosses 27,000 as Israel-Hamas war drags on | World News - Hindustan Times
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Gaza death toll crosses 27,000 as Israel-Hamas war drags on

AP |
Feb 02, 2024 12:31 AM IST

South Africa’s foreign minister has accused Israel of ignoring last week's ruling by the United Nations’ top court

More than 27,000 people have been killed and 66,000 wounded by Israel's offensive in Gaza, the Hamas-controlled territory's Health Ministry said Thursday.

A shock wave is visible as an Israeli army self-propelled artillery fires a round from southern Israel toward the Gaza Strip (AFP)
A shock wave is visible as an Israeli army self-propelled artillery fires a round from southern Israel toward the Gaza Strip (AFP)

South Africa’s foreign minister has accused Israel of ignoring last week's ruling by the United Nations’ top court, which ordered Israel to do all it can to prevent deaths in Gaza.

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The number of deaths has grown by more than 1,100 since the International Court of Justice in the Hague told Israel to do its best to prevent acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. Israel denies the genocide accusations brought against it at the court by South Africa.

The Health Ministry said 27,019 Palestinians have been killed and 66,139 wounded since Oct. 7. It does not distinguish between civilian and combatant deaths but says most of those killed were women and children.

The violence in Gaza continues to spill over into neighboring countries. Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired two ballistic missiles on Thursday at a Liberian-flagged container ship in the Red Sea, a U.S. defense official said, the latest attack by the rebels as America launches airstrikes against them.

Israel's offensive was prompted by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel, which killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took about 250 people hostage, according to Israeli authorities.

UN PALESTINIAN REFUGEE AGENCY MAY CLOSE BY END OF FEBRUARY DUE TO FUNDING CUTS, OFFICIAL SAYS

The head of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees says it will “most likely” need to shut down operations in war-battered Gaza and across the Middle East by the end of the month if crucial funding from some key donors remains suspended.

The agency, known as UNRWA, says 16 donor countries have decided to stop financial support they provide to it in the wake of Israel’s claims that 12 UNRWA employees participated in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks in Israel. The agency has since fired nine of them.

UNRWA says donor countries suspended $440 million worth of funding for it.

“If the funding remains suspended, we will most likely be forced to shut down our operations by end of February not only in Gaza but also across the region,” said UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini in a statement Thursday.

A U.N. investigation is under way into the Israeli claims.

In Gaza, nearly 2 million people – mostly women and children -- depend on UNRWA for survival with the shelter, food assistance and primary health care that it provides, the agency said.

UNRWA is the largest humanitarian aid group in Gaza, and 3,000 of its total 13,000 employees are still working amid continued bloodshed in the Israel-Hamas war. It also provides services to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank including east Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

MORE THAN 27,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED IN GAZA BY ISRAELI OFFENSIVE, HEALTH MINISTRY SAYS

The toll from Israel’s nearly four-month offensive in Gaza surpassed 27,000 Palestinians killed and more than 66,000 wounded, the territory’s Health Ministry said Thursday.

The number of deaths has grown by more than 1,100 since the International Court of Justice in the Hague a week ago ordered Israel to do all it can to prevent deaths, destruction and any acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel denies the genocide accusations brought against it at the court by South Africa. Israel says it is fighting to destroy Gaza’s Hamas rulers after the militants’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel. The case before the court is likely to take years before a final ruling.

The ministry said 27,019 Palestinians have been killed and 66,139 wounded since Oct. 7. It did not specify the number of women and children among the dead, but in previous counts they have constituted up to two-thirds of the toll. The ministry’s count does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.

Israel says it has killed thousands of Hamas militants in the war, without providing the basis for its count. The war was sparked when hundreds of Palestinian militants stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 250 people hostage.

EXPLOSION STRIKES NEAR VESSEL IN THE RED SEA AS HOUTHI ATTACKS CONTINUE

Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired two ballistic missiles Thursday at a Liberian-flagged container ship in the Red Sea, a U.S. defense official said, the latest attack by the rebels as America launches airstrikes targeting them.

The attack happened west of Hodeida, a port city in Yemen long held by the rebels, said the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, a British military group overseeing Mideast waterways. It said the crew and the vessel were safe and the blast came far off the vessel’s starboard side.

The U.S. defense official identified the targeted container ship as the Koi. Its management could not be immediately reached for comment. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

The Houthis did not immediately claim responsibility for the assault. The private security firm Ambrey reported Wednesday night that a ship was targeted with a missile southwest of Aden, Yemen, near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The Houthis claimed that attack also targeted the Koi, though American officials had no immediate information on any attack Wednesday night.

Since November, the rebels have repeatedly targeted ships in the Red Sea over Israel’s offensive in Gaza against Hamas. But they have frequently targeted vessels with tenuous or no clear links to Israel, imperiling shipping in a key route for global trade between Asia, the Mideast and Europe.

The Houthis hit a commercial vessel with a missile on Jan. 26, sparking a fire that burned for hours.

Late Wednesday, American F/A-18 fighter jets struck and destroyed 10 Houthi drones that were prepared to launch, as well as a ground control station used by the rebels, the U.S. military said. The U.S. also intercepted a ballistic missile and other drones already in the air during the day.

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