GAZA, July 25 (RIA Novosti) – The number of Palestinians killed in Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip increased by 117 on Thursday, one of the bloodiest days of the standoff, local medics told RIA Novosti.
By the 18th day of the conflict, which entered the phase of ground battles a week ago, a total of 797 citizens of the enclave have been killed, including at least 200 children, 75 women and 40 elderly persons. Over 5,130 people have been wounded, according to doctors.
Some 17 people died and another 200 Palestinians were wounded in one of the UN-run schools in Beit Hanoun, serving as a shelter to Palestinian refugees. Palestinians blamed Israel for the attack. Tel Aviv said militants could have been behind the incident.
“Most victims are again children, women and elderly persons. Among them there are no members of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA),” a spokesman for the agency, Adnan Abu Hasna, told RIA Novosti.
According to UNRWA, in Gaza, which is home to 1.7 million people, some 140,000 persons have been internally displaced and found shelter in 83 UN-run schools.
Israel blames militants saying they commit double crimes by attacking Israelis and using their compatriots as a human shield.
Recently, the number of missiles launched by Palestinians has been decreased to 63, compared with around 150 in previous days.
Since the start of the operation, Israel has lost 35 people, including 32 soldiers and officers.