IANS

As the conflict between the Hamas and Israel continued for a fourth day on Tuesday, the death toll on both sides has increased to nearly 1,600, with tens of thousands of people injured and displaced from their homes as a result of the raging violence.

Late Monday night, Israeli government officials told Xinhua news agency that more than 900 people have died since Hamas launched its surprise attack on southern Israel on October 7.

Of the 900 victims, 260 people were massacred by Hamas gunmen at a music festival shortly after the group started the attack.

The officials added that the number of fataltities was expected to rise because rescuers are yet to reach areas where the Hamas militants and Israeli troops are still engaged in fierce battles.

In its latest update, the Israeli Health Ministry said the number of injured people has climbed to 2,616, including 25 in critical condition.

Militant groups in Gaza have also claimed that about 130 Israeli hostages were held in the Palestinian enclave.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that the death toll and injuries from retaliatory Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have increased to 687 and 3,726, respectively.

According to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), its emergency shelters in Gaza were at 90 per cent capacity as of Tuesday morning with more than 137,000 people taking cover.

The agency said 83 UNRWA schools have been turned into shelters.

UNRWA also said they had been forced to close all 14 food distribution centres and "as a result half a million people have stopped receiving vital food aid".

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