Israel-Hamas war has now killed at least 30,000 Palestinians, most of them civilians

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LONDON — The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza has now killed at least 30,000 people, the Palestinian Health Ministry announced Thursday, a swelling death toll that has already drawn condemnation internationally, isolated Israel and prompted dismay from its traditional friends and allies.

Though the United States says a cease-fire may be near, the military campaign looks far from over. Having swept through swaths of northern and central Gaza, Israel has signaled its intention to attack Rafah, the enclave’s southernmost city where an estimated 1.4 million people are sheltering in squalid conditions.

Some 70% of the dead Palestinians are women and children, according to figures published by the Palestinian Health Ministry. And while many lawyers agree Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel was a war crime, Israel too has been accused by rights watchdogs and United Nations officials of breaking international law in its response.

“Nothing can justify” Hamas’ “deliberate killing, injuring, torturing and kidnapping of civilians, the use of sexual violence, or the indiscriminate launching of rockets towards Israel,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a speech Monday. “But nothing justifies the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”