Palestine says 198 dead in Gaza

Nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza amid ongoing violence, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said Saturday.

Palestinian militant group Hamas launched the largest attack on Israel in decades early Saturday, invading multiple Israeli towns and launching masses of missiles into the country.  

The ministry said that 198 people were killed and 1,610 people have been injured as of about 4:30 p.m. local time Saturday.

Israeli authorities claimed that at least 40 people have died in the conflict.

The Palestinian government said the attacks Saturday are a result of Israel discrimination against Palestinians in the country, including attacks on Muslim minorities and occupation of the West Bank.

“We have repeatedly warned against the consequences of blocking the political horizon and failing to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate right to self-determination and establish long their own state,” a statement reads.

“We have also warned against the consequences of daily provocations and attacks including the continued settlers’ and occupation forces’ terrorism, as well as the raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Christian and Muslim holy sites,” it continues.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the violence as a “war” and mobilized the country’s military. 

Governments in Europe and the U.S. have pledged to support Israel amid rising violence, while nations in the Middle East have mostly condemned Israel for its role in the ongoing conflict with Palestine.

“The U.S. unequivocally condemns the unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians,” said Adrienne Watson, spokeswoman for the U.S. National Security Council. “We stand firmly with the government and people of Israel and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks.”

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Gaza Hamas Israel Israeli-Palestinian conflict palestine Palestinian Ministry of Health