Official: Gaza casualties surpass number of killed during 2014 conflict

Casualties in the Gaza Strip over the past eight days have topped the number of those killed during the 2014 Gaza-Israel conflict, according to the spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the besieged enclave.

“The number of casualties caused by the Israeli occupation forces during the past eight days of their brutal aggression exceeds the number of casualties during the 51-day war in 2014,” Ashraf al-Qidra said in a statement on Sunday.

“This confirms that the crimes committed against our people amount to ethnic cleansing,” he added..

Until now, 2014 had been the deadliest year on record in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with at least 2,251 Palestinians killed in Gaza during 50 days of war, according to data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Following Hamas’ attack on Israel, the Gaza Strip has been hit by Israeli strikes, resulting in the deaths of 2,329 people, according to the latest figures issued by the Ministry of Health in Gaza on Sunday.

One Palestinian is being killed every five minutes in Gaza as Israeli air strikes pummel the besieged enclave non-stop for the ninth successive day, the health ministry announced.

More than 724 children and 458 women are among 2,239 Palestinians killed so far, with nearly 10,000 more wounded – all in less than nine days.

Gaza’s healthcare system is “taking its last breath amid Israeli massacres” and is due to totally collapse in a matter of hours, the health ministry has warned.

“The world will be horrified by what is about to happen in a couple hours,” a spokesperson for the health ministry told Al Jazeera.

“We call on the world to take immediate action to open a safe humanitarian corridor to bring aid to hospitals,” he stated.

If aid and fuel don’t enter in the next few hours, he added, then hospitals will collapse.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health has also urged residents in the Gaza Strip to go to any hospital in the besieged territory or a branch of the blood bank association to donate blood “immediately”.

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