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Hamas-run health ministry says more than 5,500 children among Gaza dead

Hopes are rising for a deal that could see hostages freed and possible pauses in fighting.

In the meantime, there has been no let-up in fighting and strikes. Israeli forces say they are now looking to intensify their operations against Hamas in southern Gaza, where civilians from the north were told to flee.

The death toll in Gaza continues to rise. The latest figures from Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry are that some 13,300 people have been killed since Israel began its offensive, including more than 5,500 children. The World Health Organization says it believes the figures are reliable.

On Sunday, UN Chief Antonio Guterres called the civilian death toll “staggering and unacceptable”.

Hamas killed more than 1,200 people in Israel on October 7, most of them civilians. Israel says 40 children and babies are among the hostages kidnapped by Hamas and that the group – designated as a terror organisation by the UK, US and EU – purposely hides itself under civilian infrastructure.

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