Israel-Gaza War Enters Day 35: Death Toll In Hamas Assault Revised Down To 1,200
In response to online questions from journalists, Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat said the Hamas assault on October 7 claimed about 1,200 lives, including foreign workers and other foreign nationalities. The figure is a downward revision from the previous 1,400.
But Haiat emphasised the current estimate is not a final number as some of the bodies have yet to be identified. He didn’t offer a reason behind the reduction, while it remains unclear whether all of the nearly 240 hostages believed to be held by Hamas are still alive.
Hospitals Cease Operations Amid Strikes
Traditionally considered safe zones, hospitals have become strained under the weight of Israeli assertion that Hamas’ military infrastructure is based amid health facilities and neighbourhoods. Israel also claims Hamas has set up its main command centre in and under Shifa.
Thousands of Palestinians who sought shelter in Gaza City’s largest hospital fled South for safety after several reported strikes in and around the compound overnight. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation said 20 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals have ceased operations.
Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit
Residents who had sought refuge in hospitals are facing a harsh choice: stay in the risky facilities or venture out into the perilous streets. The situation is complicated by the difficulty of accessing essential supplies, with humanitarian corridors facing logistical challenges.
Saudi Arabia will host a Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit on Saturday in response to the worsening situation in the Palestinian enclave. The Kingdom was initially going to host Arab and Islamic Summits separately but has now decided to combine the two.
Macron Urges World Leaders To Join Him
Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, has called a ceasefire “the only solution” to the violence. While he said Israel had the right “to protect itself and react”, he also noted the importance of complying “with international rules of war and humanitarian international law.”
The US administration has resisted calling for a ceasefire, although officials have worked to ramp up aid going into Gaza and pushed for humanitarian pauses. On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave one of his most direct condemnations of the civilian death toll in Gaza.