The deaths have been recorded as the conflict rages and fears grow that the war will spill over into a regional conflict.
More than 30 Palestinians, including young children, were killed in two Israeli airstrikes Saturday night in the Gaza Strip, officials said, as concerns continued to grow over shortages of fuel and supplies for overwhelmed hospitals .
Video provided by Gaza’s Civil Protection Department shows rescuers searching through the rubble of a house in Gaza City with a flashlight early Saturday morning after it was hit by an Israeli attack.
The footage showed them carrying a girl wrapped in blankets with facial injuries and at least two other children who appeared dead. A boy, covered in dust, gasped as he was loaded into an ambulance.
The attack on the house in the Daraj neighborhood killed at least 20 people in total, according to Civil Defense spokesman Mahmoud Bassal.
Another attack near the southern city of Rafah, on the border with Egypt, killed at least 13 people, including two children. The bodies of those killed, mainly members of a family displaced from central Gaza, were taken to the city’s Abu Youssef al-Najjar hospital where they were seen by an Associated Press journalist.
The death toll rises to almost 24,000
The Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said on Saturday that 135 Palestinians had been killed in the past 24 hours, bringing the war’s overall toll to 23,843. The count does not distinguish between fighters and civilians, but the ministry said about two-thirds of the dead were women and children. The ministry said the total number of war wounded exceeded 60,000.
Israel has argued that Hamas is responsible for the high number of civilian casualties, saying its fighters use civilian buildings and launch attacks from densely populated urban areas.
With the war in Gaza entering its 100th day on Sunday, the World Health Organization said only 15 of the territories’ 36 hospitals are still partially functional, according to OCHA, the United Nations’ humanitarian affairs agency.
The main hospital in central Gaza, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the city of Deir al-Balah, remained dark Friday morning after running out of fuel.
Staff were able to keep ventilators and incubators running with solar-powered batteries during the day, and received a small emergency shipment of fuel from another hospital Friday evening.
Fuel is expected to run out again on Saturday unless WHO is able to deliver the promised shipment, hospital officials said. Aid deliveries were disrupted by a new decline in telecommunications connectivity across much of Gaza that began Friday evening.
Israel reports 186 IDF soldiers killed since the conflict began
According to the army, since the start of the Israeli ground operation in late October, 186 Israeli soldiers have been killed and another 1,099 wounded in Gaza. More than 85% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million has been displaced by Israel’s air and ground offensive, and large areas of the territory have been razed to the ground.
Recent developments, including US and British military strikes on Houthi-controlled sites in Yemen, have fueled growing fears that the war will spill over into a regional conflict.
The attacks came in response to a Houthi campaign of drone and missile attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea, which they said was a response to Israel’s offensive in Gaza.
Shortages of food, fuel and clean water continue
In the context of already severe shortages of food, clean water and fuel in Gaza, OCHA said in its daily report that severe Israeli restrictions on humanitarian missions and outright denials have increased since the beginning of the year.
The agency said only 21% of planned deliveries of food, medicine, water and other supplies had successfully reached northern Gaza.
“These denials cripple the ability of humanitarian partners to respond meaningfully, consistently and at scale to widespread humanitarian needs,” the agency said.
American and other international efforts pushing Israel to do more to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian civilians have met with little success.
The lack of adequate humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza is part of South Africa’s case opened this week at the International Court of Justice in The Hague accusing Israel of genocide.
In its complaint, South Africa claims that Israel has failed to ensure that the medical needs of Palestinians are met and accuses Israel of “directly attacking Palestinian hospitals, ambulances and other health facilities in Gaza.”
The nation asked the court to immediately order Israel to halt its offensive and provide access to “adequate fuel, shelter, clothing, hygiene and sanitation,” as well as supplies and medical care.
The Israeli legal team accused Hamas of using hospitals and other civilian facilities to launch attacks and shelter its fighters. Israel said it was doing everything it could to protect civilians and that it was working with hospitals to provide assistance. Israel has called for the South African case to be dismissed.
It was not immediately clear when a decision would be made.