Palestinian Health Ministry: Death toll from Gaza Conflict is Nearing 50

GAZA: The Palestinian health ministry reports that 49 people have died as a result of the most recent escalation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip.
According to a statement released by the ministry on Friday, "a 22-year-old Palestinian has died at the hospital from severe wounds he received during the latest escalation in the Gaza Strip."

The ministry had earlier reported 41 fatalities, including 15 children and 4 women.
The most recent update puts the total number of fatalities from the most recent escalation in Gaza at 49, including 19 children and four women. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry's statement on Friday, at least 360 people were hurt.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched the Breaking Dawn operation against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip earlier this month. Last Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid declared that the goals of the Breaking Dawn operation had been accomplished.

After three days of hostilities, a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement took effect that evening on August 7. Tayseer Jabari, a senior Islamic Jihad commander in northern Gaza, was killed in an Israeli airstrike prior to the cease-fire, and Khaled Mansour, another senior commander, was killed in a separate airstrike in the Gaza city of Rafah.

According to Tor Wennesland, special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, the recent escalation in the region "took a severe toll on the civilian population." The UN maintains close contact with both Israel and the Palestinians to strengthen the ceasefire that was reached last weekend.

Issam Al-Arouri, the director of the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid, reported that the occupation court in Jerusalem had revoked the precautionary order to halt the school's demolition last Wednesday. This was done in response to a change in the building codes that were in effect in the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as the fact that Israel changed its narrative and began treating Palestinian land as Israeli territory. Israel now views any construction in Area C as an assault on the occupying power's property. The school hasn't been protected since and is in immediate danger of being demolished.

We are preparing a legal procedure that will begin the following week with a request to exempt the school from the licencing application, Al-Arouri continued. The only way to save the school, he emphasised, is to apply immediate political pressure in the hopes that this will buy us a few days to consider a new legal strategy that might work.

"All this comes in the context of the displacement of the population, but we will not leave the area," said Palestinian Muhammad Hussein Kaanba in reference to the ongoing attacks on the school and the surrounding area by settlers and soldiers of the occupation.

The Committee to Resist the Wall and Settlement, the Ministry of Education, and European funding were all involved in getting the school up and running in the middle of January. The school has assisted students from the Ein Samiya neighbourhood in Area C with the aid of volunteers.

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