The number of Palestinians killed in Gaza as Israel continues its offensive against the besieged enclave for the 24th day has so far exceeded those killed in Cast Lead, a three-week armed conflict six years ago.
According to Palestinian Health spokesman Dr Ashraf Alqedra, who shares statistics on Facebook, the overall number of Palestinians killed to date is 1,437 and those injured exceed 8,300 in this round of the conflict, dubbed by Israel as Operation Protective Edge.
Dr Alqedra says 79 Palestinians were killed on July 31 and 350 injured.
Sixty-one Israeli soldiers and three civilians have also been killed.
According to media reports, Operation Cast Lead resulted in between 1,166 and 1,417 Palestinian and 13 Israeli deaths (4 from friendly fire) in 2008/09.
Journalist Ruth Pollard reports:
Toll in #Gaza has climbed to 1418 dead, says health ministry, with 8265 injured. Surpassed Cast Lead. No end in sight.
— Ruth Pollard (@rpollard) July 31, 2014
Since Israel launched the massive offensive against the 40-kilometer-long coastal strip on July 8, their military has bombed residential neighborhoods, markets, schools, a playground, hospitals, shelters and refugee camps, leading to a 75 percent civilian death rate. On July 28, Israel attacked the only power plant in Gaza, plunging the congested strip of 1.8 million people into darkness.
With no where to escape, the number of Palestinians displaced in Gaza could exceed 400,000 people, according to the UN.
This is Israel's third military operation in Gaza in six years. Excessive restrictions from Israel in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank is why most of the world and the United Nations considers this territory “occupied” by Israel.