RAMALLAH: More than 15,900 Palestinians, including 250 health workers, have been killed in Gaza since the outbreak of war on Oct. 7, the Palestinian health minister said on Tuesday.
The number of dead is steadily rising despite international calls for Israeli forces to limit civilian harm in the new phase of its military offensive in Gaza that began on Dec. 1 when a truce with Hamas collapsed, Health Minister Mai al-Kaila told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
More than 40,900 people in Gaza have been injured in Israeli airstrikes, according to a report his ministry issued after the briefing.
Al-Kaila said that airstrikes have hit health facilities and hospitals and Israeli forces had detained 30 health workers during the offensive launched in retribution for an Oct. 7 cross-border rampage into southern Israel by Hamas, according to Israeli tallies.
Health services in Gaza are in a “disastrous” state, she said, in remarks similar to those by a World Health Organization official in the small Palestinian enclave earlier on Tuesday.
In the south of the densely populated territory where Israel has focused its military campaign since Friday when the truce fell apart, only five hospitals are operating at minimal capacity and the total number of beds is 1,300.
In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where violence has surged since the Gaza war erupted, 260 Palestinians have been killed and 3,200 injured since Oct. 7, Al-Kaila said.