Gaza toll hits 1,374 on day 24 of conflict

GAZA CITY: At least 10 people were killed in Israeli strikes on central and southern Gaza on Thursday, bringing the Palestinian death toll to 1,374 on day 24 of the conflict.

Another three people, including a local journalist, died of injuries sustained in earlier attacks, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Six people were killed in two separate raids on the southern city of Khan Yunis, including a woman, while two more people died in a strike on Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.

Another two people, including a woman, were killed in two separate incidents in the southern city of Rafah.

In a separate incident, 15 Palestinians sheltering in a UN school in Jabaliya refugee camp in the north were injured in an air strike on a neighbouring mosque. Two were in a serious condition.

The raid came a day after two tank shells slammed into the school, killing 16 people in an attack denounced as “reprehensible” by UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

So far, 1,374 people have been killed and more than 7,700 wounded since the start of the Israeli offensive, which began with an intensive air campaign on July 8 and expanded when Israel sent ground troops into the Gaza periphery on July 17.

Figures released at 1200 GMT on Wednesday by the UN humanitarian agency OCHA give a figure of 1,263 dead, saying 852 of them — or two-thirds were civilians.

Among the dead were 249 children and 135 women.

OCHA also said 245,000 Palestinians had been internally displaced by the fighting, with the UN agency for refugees giving shelter to almost 220,000 of them in 86 of its facilities.

The rest were staying with relatives or friends.

Fifty-six Israeli soldiers have died in the fighting, and cross-border rocket fire has killed two Israeli civilians and a Thai migrant worker inside Israel.

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