Middle East News
Gaza death toll reaches 947, two-third civilians: Hamas (Extra)
Jan 13, 2009, 15:33 GMT
Gaza - The Palestinian death toll of Israel's Gaza offensive has reached at least 947, two thirds of whom are civilians, an official in the Hamas-run Health Ministry in the strip said Tuesday.
At least 47 Palestinians were killed Tuesday and more than 80 wounded on the 18th day of the Israeli offensive, said Mo'aweya Hassanein, the Health Ministry's chief of emergency services.
He said that of the 947 killed, 635 were civilian men, women and children. Another 165 were Hamas policemen while the remaining 147 were gunmen in Hamas' armed wing and other militant factions.
The numbers could not be independently verified. Israel puts the number of militants killed at at least 400.
Many of Tuesday's casualties were evacuated from the Jabaliya refugee camp, north of Gaza City, and the eastern outskirts of Khan Younis, in the south of the strip.
The dead included a 75-year-old man and 11 members of his family, including three of his grandchildren and their mother, who died when Israeli F16 warplanes bombarded their three-story building in the village of Khoza'a, east of Khan Younis near the border with Israel.
Local sources close to Hamas movement said that 13 Palestinian militants were among the dead, killed in heavy gunbattles with Israeli ground forces near Jabaliya.
Hazem Abu Warda, the chief of emergency at Kamal Odwan Hospital in northern Gaza, said rescue crews also found the body of a 92-year-old man under the rubble of a building shelled ten days ago.