Israeli Strikes Kill 100 Palestinians In 24 Hours As Officials Hold Cease-fire Talks

In all, 104 Palestinians were killed over the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza has said.


Israeli airstrike leaves trail of destruction in Gaza. | Photo: AP

More than 100 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip over a 24-hour period, the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run territory said Friday.

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh held talks with Egyptian officials about a possible cease-fire in Gaza and an exchange of hostages held by the militants for Palestinians imprisoned in Israel, according to a Hamas statement Friday morning.

During Hamas' Oct 7 attack on southern Israel, militants killed about 1,200 people and took some 250 hostages. Roughly half of the hostages were released during a weeklong cease-fire in November. About 100 hostages remain in captivity, in addition to the bodies of 30 others who were killed on Oct 7 or died in captivity.


Israel's subsequent offensive in Gaza has killed more than 29,000 Palestinians and driven some 80% of the territory's 2.3 million people from their homes. Most heeded

Israeli orders to flee south, and around 1.5 million are packed into Rafah near the border with Egypt.

European diplomats have ramped up calls for a cease-fire as alarm grows over the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Israeli airstrikes in central and southern Gaza killed at least 68 Palestinians, health officials and an Associated Press journalist said, and another 24 bodies were trapped under rubble.

In all, 104 Palestinians were killed over the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Friday. The overall death toll since the Oct 7 start of the war rose to 29,514. Though the count does not differentiate between civilians and combatants, the ministry has said women and children account for about two-thirds of those killed.


The strikes were reported in the southern city of Rafah, the central town of Deir al-Balah and the refugee camp of Nuseirat.

In Deir al-Balah, bodies draped in white or black burial shrouds were laid out in the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Hospital, as relatives wept nearby. The bodies were later collected by relatives and taken for burial after brief prayers.

Outside the hospital, a man held the body of an infant killed in one of the strikes.

Israel aims to build 3,300 new houses in settlements in the occupied West Bank:

Israel plans to approve the construction of more than 3,300 new homes in settlements in the occupied West Bank, a senior Cabinet minister from the far-right wing of the government announced.

Approval of new construction is bound to elicit condemnation from the United States at a time when the relationship between the allies is fraught because of disagreements over the course of Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said in a statement late Thursday that the new construction is meant as a response to a fatal Palestinian shooting attack near Jerusalem earlier in the day. He said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant participated in the discussion leading to the decision.

The homes are to be built in the settlements of Maale Adumim, Efrat and Kedar, Smotrich said.


Consecutive Israeli governments have expanded settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank — war-won territories the Palestinians seek for a future state. Construction has accelerated under Netanyahu's current right-wing government, which includes settlers such as Smotrich in key positions.