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8,525 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7, says health ministry

 8,525 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7, says health ministry

Israel-Hamas War Live: Hamas launched an attack on Israeli forces in the northern and southern regions of Gaza early on Tuesday, even as Israel intensified its ground operations within Gaza amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Hamas’s attack involved the use of machine guns and anti-tank missiles, and was launched even as an offensive by Israeli tanks and infantry on the main city within the Gaza Strip continued. The Gaza health authorities said the Israeli air and ground attacks have led to the deaths of 8,306 people, including 3,457 minors, so far. The deaths of over 1,400 people were reported by Israeli authorities after the October 7 attack by Hamas, with the total death toll currently at 9,706.

On Monday, Israeli ground forces penetrated further into Gaza, employing tanks and other armoured vehicles to advance on the territory's primary city. They managed to free an Israeli soldier who had been held captive by Hamas militants, marking the first successful rescue mission since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7. The military confirmed that the rescued soldier, Pvt. Ori Megidish, aged 19, was in good health and had been reunited with her family.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed her home, saying the “achievement” by Israel’s security forces “illustrates our commitment to free all the hostages.”

Despite calls for a ceasefire to facilitate the release of captives or bring an end to the war, Netanyahu has remained steadfast in his refusal. “Calls for a cease-fire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas,” he told a news conference. “That will not happen.”

Hamas and other militant groups are currently holding approximately 240 captives, comprising men, women, and children. While Hamas has released four hostages, it has stipulated that the remaining captives will only be released in exchange for the liberation of thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, many of whom have been implicated in deadly attacks on Israelis.

The proposition has been rejected by Israel, with Netanyahu asserting that the ground invasion "creates the possibility" of rescuing the hostages, and that Hamas will only comply under duress.

Hamas also meanwhile released a brief video allegedly featuring three other female captives on Monday. (India today) 

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