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Gaza becomes “graveyard for children” as civilian death toll hits 10,000

  As the conflict in Gaza enters its second month, Palestinian health authorities reported the  death toll exceeded 10,000 , triggering Unit...

 As the conflict in Gaza enters its second month, Palestinian health authorities reported the death toll exceeded 10,000, triggering United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to call the enclave to have become "a graveyard for children."

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, the gruesome milestone indicated that 4,104 children and 2,641 women have already died from brutal Israel attacks. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, 155 people have been murdered since Oct. 7, the health ministry added.

There have been more than 100 attacks on healthcare facilities as per various humanitarian groups, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). There have been reports that 89 UNRWA workers have been killed, "the highest number of United Nations fatalities ever recorded in a single conflict."

"We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It's been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now," an earlier statement by 18 U.N. organizations said.

Guterres told reporters that ground operations by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and continued bombardment are hitting civilians, hospitals, refugee camps, mosques, churches, and U.N. facilities, including shelters. "No one is safe," he said "At the same time, Hamas and other militants use civilians as human shields and continue to launch rockets indiscriminately towards Israel," he added calling for an immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

Just this weekend, Israeli forces reached the coast of Gaza, splitting the enclave in half and cutting off the north from the south, Israel's military said. "In the last 12 hours, the soldiers of the division struck around 50 targets, including combat zones, operational residences, outposts, military positions, and underground infrastructure, and eliminated terrorists in close-quarter combat," the military added.

Meanwhile, Israel continues to urge people to head south to avoid being affected by their attacks, however, many roads have become impassable. The Rafah border crossing, the sole crossing point between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, was reopened on Monday for foreign passport holders whose names appeared on the approval list, according to a statement by the General Authority for Crossings and Borders. However, individuals whose names don't appear on the list were not allowed to leave Gaza.

On Saturday, the military also allowed passage for a few hours, but people trying to flee found the roads impassable. On Sunday, for the second day in a row, Israel's military announced another window for civilians in the north of Gaza to travel south. According to Israel, Hamas fired on their troops who were attempting to secure the route for civilian passage. The ones that have managed to flee have mostly traveled by foot for miles, adults carrying babies or pushing wheelchairs with the elderly, and holding the hands of children lugging bags full of whatever belongings they could grab. Some waved white pieces of cloth to show they were civilians.

The United Nations estimated that of the roughly 300,000 people trapped in northern Gaza, only 2,000 were able to move south this weekend, according to monitors on the ground.

Biden claims he wants to pause Middle East conflict, Netanyahu rejects

U.S. President Joe Biden reportedly discussed a "tactical pause" and possible hostage releases in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, reiterating his support for Israel while emphasizing that it must protect civilians, the White House said. But no apparent agreement was reached as National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the administration considered the parties to still be at the "beginning of this conversation."  

However, in a recent interview with ABC News's "World News Tonight" with anchor David Muir, Netanyahu once again rejected the idea of a ceasefire in Gaza unless hostages are released. "What they're proposing is a humanitarian pause, there will be no pause?" Muir pressed Netanyahu, shortly after he had spoken with Biden. "Well, there'll be no cease-fire, general cease-fire, in Gaza without the release of our hostages," Netanyahu responded. "As far as tactical little pauses, an hour here, an hour there. We've had them before, I suppose, will check the circumstances to enable goods, humanitarian goods to come in, or our hostages, individual hostages to leave. But I don't think there's going to be a general cease-fire."

The Israeli prime minister also said that he thinks it will hamper the war effort and their efforts to get hostages out "because the only thing that works on these criminals in Hamas is the military pressure that we're exerting."

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