Retaliation attcks by Israeli security forces leaves 2,269 Palestinians dead with fugures expected to surge.
At least 2,269 Palestinians have been killed and 9,814 others wounded due to Israeli attacks in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian health ministry said in a report on Saturday.
The death toll included 2,215 dead from Gaza with 8,714 injured.
According to AFP, the other 54 dead and 1,100 wounded were from the West Bank.
Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours have killed at least 324 Palestinians and wounded 1,000 others, Gaza’s health ministry reported on Saturday, adding that the dead included at least 126 children and 88 women.
Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas for the attack a week ago, in which its fighters killed 1,300 Israelis, mainly civilians, and seized scores of hostages.
Since then, Israel put the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, under a total siege and bombarded it with unprecedented air strikes.
On Friday, more than one million residents of northern Gaza received a notice from Israel to flee south within 24 hours, a deadline that passed at 5 a.m. (0200 GMT).
“Around the Gaza Strip, Israeli reserve soldiers in formation (are) getting ready for the next stage of operations. They are all around the Gaza Strip, in the south, in the centre and in the north, and they are preparing themselves for whatever target they get, whatever task.”
“The end state of this war is that we will dismantle Hamas and its military capability and fundamentally change the situation so that Hamas never again has the ability to inflict any damage on Israeli civilians or soldiers.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had earlier in a rare statement televised said, “We are striking our enemies with unprecedented might,” “I emphasise that this is only the beginning.”
Hamas vowed to fight to the last drop of blood and told residents to stay.