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Gaza braces for influx of casualties after Hamas attack

Palestinians brace for influx of casualties after unprecedented Hamas attack on Israel
2 min read
07 October, 2023
The Palestinian health ministry has announced that at least 198 people had been killed and 1610 injured after Israel bombed Gaza following an unprecedented Hamas attack.
Israeli forces bombed residential areas in the Gaza Strip [Getty]

The Palestinian Health Ministry said on Saturday that 198 people were killed and 1,610 were injured in Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip following a major Hamas attack, announcing preparations.

Israeli media reported that between 70 and 100 Israelis were killed and at least 1,000 were injured in the Hamas attack, which the group called “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood”.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Sunday afternoon that Hamas fighters were still in control of areas in Israel along the Gaza border, while Hamas took dozens of Israelis prisoner and had taken some of them to the Gaza Strip.

Footage broadcast by Hamas showed fighters paragliding into Israel, and capturing tanks while pulling Israeli soldiers out and taking them prisoner.

Later on Saturday, Al-Jazeera TV broadcast footage of tower blocks in Gaza collapsing following Israeli bombardment. It was not clear how many people were in the building or whether all the residents had been evacuated.

The Palestinian health ministry initially gave a lower toll of 161 dead and 931 injured, saying that 35 of the casualties had been killed and 160 injured in Gaza City, while 45 had been killed and 180 injured in Khan Yunus.

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Others were killed and injured elsewhere in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian health minister, Mai Al-Kaila, announced that a “state of emergency” had been declared in all hospitals in the Gaza Strip, ordering that blood banks and medical supplies should be prepared to receive casualties.

She also said that patients from the Gaza Strip could be treated in the West Bank, although it was not clear whether Israel would allow this.

The Egyptian health ministry also said that it had sent dozens of ambulances to the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, in order to receive casualties.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was “at war” and vowed retaliation against Hamas, while Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that the Hamas operation was in response to recent Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.