Hamas Says Gaza Death Toll Rises to over 2,000
Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry has claimed the death toll there has risen to 2,016 Monday, as some people injured in fighting between Israel and Gazan terrorist groups succumbed to their injuries.
Hamas claims more than three quarters of those killed in Operation Protective Edge are civilians, while the IDF says roughly 50% were combatants. Precise figures cannot be independently verified as Hamas does not allow journalists to operate freely in Gaza, and those who challenge its official line or figures are routinely harassed, threatened and deported.
The Hamas health ministry also claimed that a total of 10,196 Gazans had been injured, though again those figures cannot be confirmed.
While the IDF says upwards of 900 terrorists have been killed since the start of the operation - most from Hamas and Islamic Jihad -most of Hamas's senior leadership remain unscathed, many of them in bunkers under the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
Also on Monday, the IDF confirmed that five of the 64 soldiers killed during the operation died in "friendly-fire" incidents. The precise circumstances of their deaths have not yet been clarified.
The news comes as a 5-day ceasefire between Israel and Islamist terrorist groups in Gaza is due to end at midnight tonight, with no sign of a breakthrough in talks over a long-term truce in Cairo meaning hostilities are likely to resume.
Hamas has vowed that it is prepared to launch a "long war" of attrition against Israel if all of its demands - including unrestricted access in and out of Gaza and the opening of air and sea ports - are not met. The group is still estimated to have a third (some 2,000) of its rocket stockpile left after 42 days of fighting.
Israel, for its part, has said it will not agree to any deal that does not address its security concerns.