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Palestinian Civilian Death Toll Mounts as Israel Pounds Gaza with Airstrikes and Heavy Artillery

HeadlineMay 14, 2021

The death toll in Gaza has reached at least 119 as Israel escalates its aerial assault and fires heavy artillery at the besieged territory ahead of a possible ground invasion. Israeli attacks have killed at least 31 Palestinian children, many under the age of 10. Gaza authorities report 40% of the victims in the Israeli strikes have been women and children. Residents of Khan Younis described huddling in their homes during the Eid al-Fitr holiday as bombs exploded around them.

Thuraya Ramadan: “This Eid, we can’t enjoy the celebrations, because our neighbors got hit. My neighbor and her daughter were killed. We are close. We are like one family. We’re very sad. The Israeli forces stole the cheer of Eid from the children. We bought them new clothes, but they didn’t wear them. They are terrified and panicked.”

Over 830 Palestinians have been wounded so far this week, but Gaza’s hospital systems are on the verge of collapse as doctors face shortages of medicine and recurring power outages. Many Palestinians in Gaza have been taking shelter in United Nations schools — even as the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports more than 24 Palestinian schools have been damaged by Israeli strikes.

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