The number of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks on the blockaded Gaza Strip late Saturday has risen to eight, and the number of people injured rose from 42 to 45, according to official figures.
Esref al-Kudra, a spokesperson for Palestine’s health minister, said in a statement that search and rescue efforts continue in the wreckage of buildings destroyed in Israel’s attacks on various parts of Gaza since midnight.
Kudra said that the body of Dr. Aymen Abu al-Awf, head of the Internal Disease Department at Al-Shifa Hospital, was retrieved from the debris of one of the destroyed buildings.
He added that eight people, mostly women, and children, lost their lives and 45 people were injured in the post-midnight attacks.
According to witnesses, two more bodies were found under the debris of a house demolished by Israeli airstrikes.
Twenty people were rescued from the debris alive, they said.
Israeli warplanes carried out simultaneous airstrikes on various areas of Gaza, with loud explosions heard in the west, north, and south of the city.
Witnesses said the attacks were heavy, and houses and streets were bombarded. They said houses were hit without prior notice and there were injured people under the debris.
The Health Ministry said civil defense teams were able to pull five children alive from the debris.
Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque since the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as Israeli forces and settlers assaulted Palestinians.
Tensions spread from East Jerusalem to Gaza after Palestinian resistance groups there vowed to retaliate for Israeli assaults on Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah if they were not halted.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.
On Saturday, Hamas’ military wing, the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, said rocket attacks were carried out in response to Israel’s attacks on multi-story buildings and houses in Gaza where civilians live.