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Gaza Massacre: Israel’s Air Raids Kill 8,000 Palestinians, Mostly Children, in 11 Days

The Israeli military has continued its relentless bombing campaign on the besieged Gaza Strip, killing more than 8,000 Palestinians, mostly children, and destroying thousands of homes and infrastructure in the past 11 days.

According to the Gaza health ministry, at least 8,032 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, when Hamas fired rockets at Israel in response to its crackdown on Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem. Among the dead are 2,112 children, 1,248 women and 622 elderly people.

The ministry also said that more than 21,000 people have been injured, many of them critically, and that the health system is on the verge of collapse due to the lack of medical supplies, electricity and fuel.

The Israeli air force has targeted residential buildings, schools, hospitals, mosques, media offices and civil society organizations in Gaza, claiming that they are hiding Hamas militants or weapons. However, many of the victims are civilians who have no affiliation with Hamas or any other armed group.

The United Nations has warned that Israel’s attacks may constitute war crimes and has called for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian access to Gaza. The UN also said that more than 90,000 people have been displaced from their homes and that more than half of Gaza’s population of two million is in need of humanitarian assistance.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation in Gaza, but failed to agree on a joint statement or a resolution due to the opposition of the United States, Israel’s main ally and arms supplier.

The US has repeatedly blocked attempts by other countries to issue a statement calling for a ceasefire and condemning Israel’s disproportionate use of force. The US has also defended Israel’s right to self-defense and blamed Hamas for the escalation.

However, some US lawmakers and human rights groups have criticized the Biden administration for its uncritical support for Israel and its silence on the plight of the Palestinians. They have also urged the US to stop selling weapons to Israel and to pressure it to end its occupation and blockade of Gaza.

Meanwhile, Hamas and other Palestinian factions have continued to fire rockets at Israel in retaliation for its attacks on Gaza. According to the Israeli military, more than 4,000 rockets have been launched from Gaza since October 7, killing 12 people in Israel and injuring more than 300.

The Israeli military said it has intercepted most of the rockets with its Iron Dome system and has struck more than 1,500 targets in Gaza. It also said it has killed more than 225 militants belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

However, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have denied that most of their fighters have been killed and have vowed to continue their resistance until Israel stops its aggression and lifts its siege on Gaza.

Hamas has also claimed responsibility for several cross-border attacks on Israeli soldiers and settlers in the occupied West Bank and along the border with Gaza. It has also said it holds four Israeli hostages who were captured during previous wars in Gaza.

Hamas has demanded that Israel release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the hostages. However, Israel has refused to negotiate with Hamas and has accused it of using the hostages as bargaining chips.

The current round of violence is the worst since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, which lasted for 51 days and killed more than 2,200 Palestinians and 73 Israelis.

The international community has urged both sides to end the hostilities and resume peace talks based on a two-state solution. However, both sides have rejected any political solution that does not address their core demands.

Israel wants Hamas to recognize its right to exist and disarm its military wing. Hamas wants Israel to end its occupation and blockade of Gaza and recognize the rights of the Palestinian refugees.

The prospects for a lasting peace remain dim as long as the root causes of the conflict are not addressed. The Palestinians continue to suffer under Israeli occupation, oppression and discrimination. The Israelis continue to live in fear of rocket attacks and violence from Palestinian militants.

The cycle of violence seems endless as both sides resort to force instead of dialogue. The civilians on both sides pay the highest price as they lose their lives, loved ones and homes. The world watches in horror as Gaza burns and bleeds.

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