US says 'thousands' of civilians killed or wounded in Gaza

AFP , Monday 6 Nov 2023

The United States on Monday acknowledged there have been "thousands" of civilian casualties in Gaza as Israel battles Palestinian resistance in the narrow coastal territory, but did not provide an exact figure.

Killed and wounded Palestinians
File Photo: Killed and wounded Palestinians lay at the al-Shifa hospital, following Israeli airstrikes, in Gaza City, central Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. AP


According to the Palestanian health ministry, the Israel's military intensive bombardment of Gaza since October 7, has left more than 10,000 people dead, including 4,104 children, more than 2,600 women, and 600 elderly, while injuring more than 24,000.

"As it relates to civilian casualties in Gaza... we know the numbers are in the thousands," Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder told journalists when asked about the Palestainian health ministry's toll.

"This is a reason why it has been a point of emphasis with the Israelis and others in the region on how important it is to get humanitarian assistance and aid into Gaza," Ryder said.

The validity of the numbers published by the Palestanian health ministry in Gaza have been called into question by US President Joe Biden, who has been steadfast in supporting Israel and opposing a ceasefire.

The United States responded to the Al-Aqsa Flood operation on October 7, by rushing military assistance to Israel and bolstering its forces in the region, including with two carrier strike groups.

Washington's forces in the Middle East have come under repeated attack in recent weeks, with the United States blaming Iran-backed militias for the violence.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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