The number of deaths due to Israeli atrocities in Gaza continues to increase. Photo/Reuters
GAZA – The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip said on Saturday (2/2/2023) that 240 people had been killed in the Palestinian territory since a lull in fighting ended on Friday.
“Another 650 people were injured in hundreds of airstrikes, artillery and naval bombardments, everywhere in the Gaza Strip,” Hamas said in a statement, reported by Al Arabiya.
Hamas added that Israeli forces specifically targeted Khan Yunis, where dozens of houses were destroyed.
The eastern region of Khan Younis south of Gaza was subjected to heavy bombardment as the ceasefire deadline passed shortly after dawn on Friday, with columns of smoke rising into the sky.
Residents took to the streets with goods piled into carts, seeking shelter further west.
Israel said its land, air and sea forces struck more than 200 “terror targets” in Gaza. On Friday evening, health officials in the coastal strip said Israeli strikes had killed 184 people, injured at least 589 others, and hit more than 20 houses.
Both warring sides blamed each other for the failure of the ceasefire by rejecting terms of extending the release of daily hostages held by militants in exchange for Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons.
The pause that began on November 24 has been extended twice and Israel says it can continue as long as Hamas releases 10 hostages a day. But after seven days of freeing women, children and foreign hostages, mediators failed to find a formula to free more hostages.
Israel accuses Hamas of refusing to release all the women it holds. A Palestinian official said the destruction occurred among female Israeli soldiers.