Gaza's death toll mounts as negotiators cite progress on a cease-fire deal - GulfToday

Gaza's death toll mounts as negotiators cite progress on a cease-fire deal


Palestinians inspect the rubble of a building, which was struck by an Israeli airstrike, in Rafah on Tuesday. AP

The Palestinian death toll from an Israeli hostage rescue operation in a key Gaza city rose to 74 on Tuesday, officials in the war-ravaged enclave said, even as the warring sides appear to have made progress toward a deal that aims to bring about a cease-fire and free hostages held by Hamas.

The raid took place early Monday in Rafah, a city on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip where 1.4 million Palestinians have fled to escape fighting elsewhere in the Israel-Hamas war. Women and children were among those killed in the airstrikes, Palestinian officials said.

The overall Palestinian death toll from the war in Gaza has surpassed 28,000 people, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza. A quarter of Gaza’s residents are starving.

Israel says about 100 hostages remain in Hamas captivity, while Hamas is holding the remains of roughly 30 others who were either killed on Oct. 7 or died in captivity. Three hostages were mistakenly killed by the army after escaping their captors in December.

Palestinian children wait to receive food cooked by a charity kitchen in Rafah, Gaza Strip, on Tuesday. Reuters

Israel's planned military push into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, the last bastion of refuge for more than a million Palestinians, "could lead to a slaughter," UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths warned Tuesday.

"The international community has been warning against the dangerous consequences of any ground invasion in Rafah. The Government of Israel cannot continue to ignore these calls," Griffiths said in a statement. "Military operations in Rafah could lead to a slaughter in Gaza."




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