Death toll surpasses 10,000 in Gaza as Israel, Hamas reject ceasefire calls

Palestinian health authorities confirmed on Tuesday that the death toll resulting from Israeli strikes in Gaza has now surpassed 10,000.

Despite increasing international pressure for a ceasefire, both Israel and Hamas, who control Gaza, have continued their hostilities. Israel insists that Hamas release hostages taken during their incursion into southern Israel on October 7 before considering a ceasefire. In contrast, Hamas maintains that it will neither release hostages nor halt its fighting as long as Gaza is under attack.

Israel reported that 31 soldiers have lost their lives since launching an expanded ground operation in Gaza on October 27. They also reiterated their claim that Hamas militants were using civilians and hospitals as cover. Hamas refuted this, labeling it a “false narrative” that they called upon the United Nations to verify.

A Reuters journalist in Gaza reported that Israel’s recent overnight bombardment, conducted from the air, ground, and sea, was one of the most intense since the October 7 attack. During that attack, Hamas killed 1,400 people in Israel and took over 240 hostages.

The health ministry in the Hamas-controlled enclave disclosed that the death toll now exceeds 10,022 people in Gaza, including 4,104 children.

International organizations have sounded alarms about the inability of hospitals to handle the influx of wounded, and they have raised concerns about dwindling supplies of food and clean water, with aid deliveries falling far short of the demand.

According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, 89 individuals working with the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) are among the deceased. UNRWA reported that five of its colleagues were killed in the past 24 hours alone.

The United States is vigorously working to arrange temporary pauses in the conflict to allow for the delivery of aid, rather than a full ceasefire. The U.S. argument, similar to Israel’s, is that a ceasefire would provide an opportunity for Hamas militants to regroup.

U.S. President Joe Biden discussed these temporary pauses and potential hostage releases during a recent phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reiterating his support for Israel while emphasizing the need to protect civilians, as stated by the White House.

On the eve of the one-month anniversary of the attack, images of hostages were projected onto the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.