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Health ministry: Israeli strikes killed 210 Gazans, injured 2,300 in 24 hours

Firefighters battle the flames in a building hit by an Israeli strike in the city of Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza Strip, on December 9, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian health ministry in the Gaza Strip says the Israeli regime’s indiscriminate attacks on the besieged territory have killed more than two hundred people and injured thousands in a matter of 24 hours.

The ministry’s spokesman, Ashraf al-Qudra, made the announcement in a press conference on Saturday, which marked the 64th day of the regime’s brutal aggression on the coastal territory.

"During the past hours, the Zionist occupation has committed 20 horrific massacres and exterminated entire families [across Gaza]," he said.

He added that Gaza’s hospitals have received “210 martyrs and 2,300 injuries” during the past 24 hours, while a large number of victims are still under the rubble and on the roads.

The spokesman added, “With the new martyrs, the death toll from the Israeli aggression [on the Gaza Strip] rises to 17,700 martyrs with 48,780 people injured since the seventh of last October.”

October 7 was the day when the occupying regime launched its genocidal war on Gaza following a surprise operation staged by the territory's resistance groups, dubbed Operation al-Aqsa Storm.

Not even pregnant women spared

Elsewhere in his remarks, the spokesman said the Israeli forces continue to attack Gaza's medical staff and facilities, including Kamal Adwan and al-Awda hospitals in the northern part of Gaza.

He said Israeli forces have targeted an ambulance while it was working to evacuate the wounded in the vicinity of Gaza European Hospital, leading to injury of two paramedics and damage to the ambulance, and bringing the number of ambulances targeted so far to 57.

“Attacking and destroying hospitals has always been a red line and a crime under international humanitarian law, but the occupation has crossed this line many times, and its war against hospitals, ambulances, and medical teams still continues before the eyes of the world,” Qudra said.

The spokesman added that the Israeli occupation continues to besiege Kamal Adwan and al-Awda hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip.

Gaza's health ministry spokesman said Israel's snipers, who have surrounded al-Awda Hospital, have killed two members of its medical staff, and have also killed and wounded many pregnant women as they arrived at the hospital to give birth.

Qudra warned that "pregnant women in northern Gaza cannot access the maternity service at al-Awda Hospital, because in doing so they and their unborn children may get killed."

“The residents of northern Gaza are being exterminated from house to house and from school to school, and the wounded are left to die as a result of hospitals being under siege and out of service,” he warned.

In a move not taken in decades, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter on Wednesday to notify the world body's Security Council about the threat that has been posed to international peace and security as a result of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza.

"I've just invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter - for the 1st time in my tenure as Secretary General. Facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, I urge the [Security] Council to help avert a humanitarian catastrophe & appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared,” Guterres said on X.

Ever since the onset of the war, however, the United States, Israel's foremost ally, has been consistently vetoing the Security Council resolutions that called for a ceasefire in Israel's bloody onslaught against the besieged Palestinian territory.

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