Palestinians mourn members of the al-Rifi family who were killed in Israeli bombardment, as they pray outside Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah on November 17, 2023. (Photo by AFP)
Israels bombardment and ground offensive in Gaza since October 7 has killed over 12,000 people so far, including 5,000 children, according to officials in Gaza.
Gazas government media office said on Friday there are also more than 30,000 injuries, 75 percent of which are women and children.
There are 3,750 missing persons, including 1,800 children who are still under the rubble, it said as the official death toll in Gaza had not been updated for days due to the collapse of the its health system.
The media office said at least 200 doctors, nurses, and paramedics have been killed, as well as at least 22 civil defense team members.
Also, at least 51 journalists and media representatives have been killed, the media office said.
Meanwhile, there was no sign of any let-up despite international calls for a ceasefire or at least for humanitarian pauses.
Israels military, which has concentrated its assault on northern Gaza, said its troops and warplanes were keeping up pressure on Friday.
Media reports say fierce confrontations continue in northern Gaza, with the Israeli military trying to push from the western side of Gaza City towards the neighborhoods of Shujaiya and Zeitoun.
The health ministry in Gaza said that 24 patients have died in the past two days at Al-Shifa hospital due to power cuts, as Israeli forces keep blockading the medical facility.
"Twenty-four patients in different departments have died over the last 48 hours as vital medical equipment has stopped functioning because of the power outage," said ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.
Israel attacked the hospital earlier this week, claiming Hamas has used the hospital and its area as a command center.
Hamas denies using hospitals for military purposes. It says some hostages have received treatment at medical centers but they have not been held inside them.
‘Starvation imminent in Gaza
Israel has bombed much of Gaza to rubble, ordered the depopulation of the entire northern half of the strip and made around two-thirds of Gazans homeless.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), quoting Palestinian data, said Israeli attacks had destroyed or damaged at least 45% of Gazas housing units.
International officials say a humanitarian crisis for the 2.3 million residents of Gaza is entering a new, more dire phase as the Israeli war continues.
A Palestinian UN official said on Friday people in Gaza were facing war on two fronts, one "with bombs and bullets" and the other "through the siege" on the Palestinian territory.
One of the wars is "The siege is killing people every hour. It has killed hundreds these last few days. It will kill thousands in the next few days," Majed Bamya, the deputy permanent observer for the State of Palestine at the UN, said on social media.
"It is a criminal tool used to kill and displace and pressure in cold blood. It is inhumane, brutal, barbaric. Israel is holding 2.3 million Palestinians hostage. The only options it is giving them is leave this earth or leave this country."
UN aid deliveries to Gaza were suspended on Friday due to shortages of fuel and a communications shutdown, deepening the misery of thousands of hungry and homeless Palestinians.
Friday marked the second consecutive day that no aid trucks arrived in Gaza due to a lack of fuel for distributing relief.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said civilians faced the "immediate possibility of starvation" due to the lack of food supplies.
Nearly the entire Gazan population is in desperate need of food assistance, said WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain.
"With winter fast approaching, unsafe and overcrowded shelters, and the lack of clean water, civilians are facing the immediate possibility of starvation," she said in a statement.
A UN human rights official said Israel must allow water and fuel into Gaza to restart the water supply network otherwise people would die of thirst and disease. Israels actions were a breach of international law, Pedro Arrojo-Agudo said.
The World Health Organization said it feared the spread of disease, including respiratory infections and diarrhea.