Gaza death toll rises above 200

Gaza death toll rises above 200
Israeli attacks have now killed 212 people and are showing no signs of stopping.
2 min read
18 May, 2021
Efforts to end the violence have so far failed [Getty]

At least 212 Palestinians have been killed by the ongoing Israeli attacks targeting Gaza, the ministry of health in the besieged enclave has said. 

Among the dead were 61 children, 36 women, and 16 elderly people, and a further 1,400 were wounded.

Medical infrastructure, such as Covid-19 labs, have also been destroyed in hundreds of Israeli airstrikes. 

"Direct targeting of the ministry of health's facilities stopped the central laboratory's services, including coronavirus testing, Covid-19 vaccinations, pregnancy services, and remote consultations," according to a statement by the ministry of health.

Israel's continuing attacks on densely populated residential areas of Gaza have now displaced 40,000 families to overcrowded shelters, which now represent "a dangerous environment for the rapid spread of Covid-19", continued the statement. 

For over a week, Israel has conducted numerous attacks against Gaza, while Hamas has fired rockets into Israel.

Violence erupted when Israel pushed forward with efforts to forcible expel Palestinian families living in East Jerusalem, sparking widespread protests in the West Bank which were brutally suppressed. 

Efforts to implement a ceasefire agreement have so far failed, and a UN Security Council statement calling for an end to the violence - supported by all members - was ultimately blocked by the US. 

The spokesperson for the UN urged nations to present a consolidated position on the conflict. 

"I would really restate the need for a very strong and unified voice from the Security Council, which we think will carry weight," he said at a press conference.


Following the blocking of a UN statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed at a press conference in Copenhagen on Monday: "We're not standing in the way of diplomacy."

Human rights group Amnesty International has urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the Israeli targeting of homes as possible war crimes. 

"Israel has demonstrated a callous disregard for lives of Palestinian civilians who are already suffering the collective punishment of Israel’s illegal blockade on Gaza since 2007," said Amnesty deputy Middle East and North Africa Director Saleh Higazi.

In their statement, the ministry of health stressed the need for healthcare services to be protected from Israeli attacks. 

"We call on the international community to provide full protection for health care facilities in Gaza Strip," they said.

"We call on health and humanitarian organisations to provide critically needed personal protection equipment supplies to the shelters to limit the spread of Covid-19."