Gaza death toll in Israeli offensive over 1000: Medics

The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights said a thir of the deaths were children.

Gaza death toll in Israeli offensive over 1000: Medics

The number of Palestinians killed in a 19-day-old Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip reached at least 1,000 on Wednesday, including hundreds of children, officials in the Hamas-run Health Ministry in the enclave said.

At least 10 people, including at least four fighters, were killed on Wednesday, medics said. Bodies were also retrieved from past attacks. It took the total death toll to 1,010, said Muawiyah Hassanein, head of the ministry's ambulance service.

Earlier this week, the health ministry said about 400 women and children were among the dead.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights said a thir of the deaths were children.

More than half Gaza's 1.5 million people are aged under 18.

In the first days of the war, hundreds of Hamas members were killed in air strikes. Israel regards all of these as militants, although some argue that many were police officers whose main functions were civilian.

Israel says it has lost nine soldiers in a ground offensive that began on Jan. 3, four of these to "friendly fire", while a 10th soldier and three Israeli civilians were killed by Hamas rockets fired into southern Israel in the first week of the war.

Israel says it launched the offensive to halt rocket fire that had killed 18 people between 2001 and the start of the air campaign.

The United Nations has led calls for an immediate ceasefire.

Reuters
Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2009, 18:10
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