Gaza death toll jumps to 583: Ministry

Photo: Gaza death toll jumps to 583: Ministry / Arab-Israel Relations

The Palestinian death toll from Israel's ongoing offensive against the Gaza Strip has risen to 583 as the Israeli army launched fresh attacks on the blockaded enclave, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry Anadolu Agency reported

A fresh Israeli airstrike targeted a house in Deir al-Balah city in central Gaza Strip, killing five Palestinians, while a sixth was killed in another raid in Khan Younis in the south, Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency.

The Israeli warplanes pounded several Palestinian houses in various areas of the Gaza Strip late Monday, also including the house of Anadolu Agency photographer Mohamed Dahlan in northern Gaza City.

An AA correspondent said that the Israeli fighter jets continued to strike residential houses across the Palestinian enclave overnight, including Dahlan's house, which was completely destroyed by the raid. The airstrike, however, did not leave casualties.

On Monday, AA photojournalist Anas Abu Maelaq was injured in an Israeli strike on a hospital in the central Gaza Strip, while another photojournalist narrowly escaped a separate strike.

Abu Maelaq was moderately injured in the stomach by the Israeli aerial attack on the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the central Gaza Strip.

He was immediately taken to hospital where he underwent surgery before being transferred to southern Gaza's European Hospital to receive further treatment.

His colleague, Belal Khaled, narrowly escaped a separate Israeli aerial attack near southern Gaza's Nasser Hospital.

Abu Maelaq and Khaled both work as freelance photojournalists for AA, which has been closely covering Israel's two-week-long onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

Since July 7, Israel has pounded the embattled coastal enclave with fierce air and naval bombardments with the stated aim of halting Palestinian rocket fire.

On Thursday night, Israel stepped up its offensive to include ground operations, sending thousands of troops into the embattled Palestinian territory.

Israel's military operation, dubbed "Operation Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populated Gaza Strip - which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians - within the last six years.

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