An Israeli airstrike on a building in Gaza City has resulted in the death of 76 members of an extended family, according to rescue officials. The strike, which took place on Friday, is considered one of the deadliest incidents in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, now in its 12th week.
Mahmoud Bassal, spokesperson for Gaza’s Civil Defense department, provided a partial list of the victims, revealing that among the casualties were 16 heads of households from the al-Mughrabi family, including women and children. Issam al-Mughrabi, a veteran employee of the U.N. Development Program, his wife, and their five children were among the deceased.
U.N. Chief’s Warning
The incident follows a warning from the U.N. Secretary-General, who emphasized that nowhere is safe in Gaza and raised concerns about the Israeli offensive hindering the distribution of humanitarian aid. Achim Steiner, the head of the U.N. Development Program, expressed sorrow over the loss of Issam and his family, stressing that the U.N. and civilians in Gaza are not targets and urging an end to the war.
The Israel-Hamas war, initiated after Hamas militants crossed the border on Oct. 7, has claimed over 20,000 Palestinian lives and left more than 53,000 wounded, according to Gaza health officials. Israel’s objective is to destroy Hamas and remove it from power in Gaza while securing the release of hostages.
Israel attributes the high civilian death toll to Hamas, citing the group’s use of crowded residential areas for military purposes and the construction of tunnels under urban areas. The Israeli military has conducted numerous airstrikes since the beginning of the conflict, refraining from commenting on specific attacks.
U.N. Resolution and Humanitarian Concerns
On Friday, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution calling for the acceleration of aid deliveries to civilians in Gaza. However, the resolution was watered down, with the removal of a stronger call for an “urgent suspension of hostilities” between Israel and Hamas. The U.N. Secretary-General reiterated the need for a humanitarian cease-fire, expressing hope that the resolution would contribute to ending the ongoing crisis.
The situation in Gaza remains dire, with continued efforts required to address the humanitarian crisis and find a resolution to the conflict.