Death toll of war hits 1,315 Gazans

GAZA, Jan 19 (KUNA) — The intensive Israeli bombardment on Gaza Strip claimed a total of 1,315 lives including 40 Qassam fighters, as search and rescue teams have unearthed 12 more bodies from debris on Monday.

The new bodies were found in east Jabaliya and east Al-Zayton towns, the Palestinian Ministry of Health announced.

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“Three people have also succumbed to their injuries on Monday, Mu’awiya Hussein, director of first-aid and emergencies division of the ministry told reporters here.

“The Israeli fierce bombardment killed whole families and buried others under debris,” he said, pointing out that a total of 95 bodies were unearthed since the start of the ceasefire two days ago.

Some 5,450 Gazans were injured during the war, he disclosed, noting the death toll is likely to rise even further due to the possible fatalities under debris and the life-threatening conditions of dozens of injured people.

Meanwhile, Ezzeddin Al-Qassam Battalions, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) said the war claimed the lives of only 40 of its fighters.
“Israel, prompted by criminal Talmudic ideology, committed genocide against civilian people during the last three weeks,” said Abu-Ubaida, spokesman of the battalions, in a press conference here on Monday.

“Al-Qassam fighters have fought a wonderful, though unbalanced, battle against the Israeli army in Gaza Strip,” the spokesman said, condemning the army as “barbaric and weak.” “The valiant fighters were able to verify the killing of 49 Israeli soldiers and the wounding of hundreds of others during the three-week war.

“In addition, there are scores of possible Israeli fatalities which were not verified by us in a direct way during sniper operations shelling of military sites and attacks against of tanks,” he pointed out, putting the total figure of Israeli military fatalities at “no less than 80 soldiers.” Citing the strict censorship applied by the Israeli army on military news, Abu-Ubaida defied the army to announce the real figures of its casualties.

Despite the intensive bombardment during the 23-day war, Al-Qassam battalions managed to launch 980 missiles and shells including 345 Qassams, 213 Garads and 422 mortars at Israeli targets.

A total of 98 RPGs were fired at the Israeli tanks and personnel carriers which intruded Gaza, the spokesman disclosed, asserting that some anti-armor missiles were used for the first time in Gaza war.

The intruding army was hit by 79 explosive devices, 12 traps and 53 sniper operations.
“The Israeli army lost 47 tanks, personnel carriers and bulldozers where were totally or partially damaged by Al-Qassam fire.

“Four Israeli gunships and a no-man surveillance plane were damaged during the war,” Abu-Ubaida underscored.

“A number of soldiers have been taken captive during two operations in Al-Toffah district of Gaza on the third day of the war. However, the Israeli air force stepped in and pounding the site killing both captives and captors.

“In a similar operation on the fifth day in Jabaliya an Israeli captive was killed by the Israeli warplanes after the captors refused to set him free,” the spokesman revealed.
The Israeli army adopted a scorched earth policy during its barbaric aggression on the people of Gaza, he added.