More than 9,600 children and 6,700 women killed in Gaza war

Israel has used 65,000 tonnes of explosives on the enclave since October 7, damaging 290,000 homes

Displaced Palestinian children in Rafah, southern Gaza. About 1.9 million people have been forced to flee their homes in the enclave. AFP
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More than 9,600 children and 6,700 women have been killed in the Israel-Gaza war, now in its fourth month, with 45,000 rockets and bombs used in attacks on the enclave since October 7.

The overall death toll in Gaza has passed 22,300 and more than 57,000 injuries have been recorded. The Hamas government's media office said 1.9 million people have been displaced and 65,000 tonnes of explosives used by Israel, damaging 290,000 homes.

“The sound of clashes and shelling makes you think that it is the end,” Rami Darwish, from Al Nuseirat camp in central Gaza, told The National.

“Israeli army has stepped up air strikes and artillery shelling in the middle areas of the Gaza Strip."

Israeli bombing in the southern city of Khan Younis killed 14 members of one family who had already been displaced. At least nine members of the Abu Hattab family were killed, mostly, medical sources said.

"We fled here because we were looking for a safe place, but there is no safe place,” Aziz Abu Hattab told The National.

“We were sleeping when suddenly shelling targeted us and we started running. We don’t know where to go.”

Dozens of Palestinians were killed and injured early on Thursday in Israeli raids on central and southern Gaza, Palestinian health authorities said.

Israel has bombed Al Maghazi, Al Zawaida and Al Nuseirat camps in central Gaza, as well as Khan Younis.

Paramedic Abed Allah Afanna told The National an Israeli aircraft bombed a multistorey house in central Gaza.

"We couldn't transport the injured due to the severity of the field conditions, as the ambulances were targeted and have been shot, which forced ambulance crew to leave the place without transporting the injured,” Mr Afanna said.

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces carried out a second day of raids on Thursday, storming Palestinian homes in the city of Tulkarm and its two camps.

“The occupation bulldozers also continue to destroy the streets and alleys of the Tulkaram camp in several neighbourhoods and were stationed in Al Muqata’a neighbourhood, the centre of the camp, the Abu Al Foul neighbourhood, the Hanoun Square and the Balawneh neighbourhood,” the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported on Thursday.

Israeli forces reportedly eventually withdrew about 40 hours after the operation began.

Violence broke out between Palestinian fighters and Israeli troops on Wednesday when two camps in Tulkarm were raided as part of large-scale operations in the West Bank. The Israeli army said it discovered a tunnel near the city of Hebron.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will start a tour in the Middle East on Thursday, which includes a stop in Israel, a senior American official told Reuters on Wednesday.

The official said US envoy Amos Hochstein would also travel to Israel as tensions flare between the country and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Updated: January 04, 2024, 2:41 PM