THE Palestinian death toll from an Israeli hostage rescue operation in a key Gaza city rose to 74 on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, officials in the besieged enclave said, even as the warring sides appear to have made progress toward a deal that aims to bring about a cease-fire and free hostages held by Hamas.
The raid took place early Monday in Rafah, a city on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip where 1.4 million Palestinians have fled to escape fighting elsewhere in the Israel-Hamas war. Women and children were among those killed in the airstrikes, Palestinian officials said.
The overall Palestinian death toll from the war in Gaza has surpassed 28,000 people, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza. A quarter of Gaza’s residents are starving.
The war began with Hamas’ assault on Israel on October 7, in which militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250. Israel says about 100 hostages remain in Hamas captivity, while Hamas is holding the remains of roughly 30 others who were either killed on October 7 or died in captivity. Three hostages were mistakenly killed by the army after escaping their captors in December.