According to Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman for the health ministry, the dead include 4,324 children, 2,823 women and 649 elderly people, while more than 26,000 people have been injured in Israeli assaults.
He said that at least 2,550 people, including 1,350 children, were trapped under the rubble. The spokesman added that in the past day, 241 people in Gaza and hundreds of others were injured.
Ashraf al-Qedra called on the international community to protect the Palestinian people from the Israeli attacks, as most of the victims were children and women.
Gaza has gone more than a month without water, food and healthcare as Israel continues bombarding the besieged enclave.
The UN says the enclave’s health, sanitation, water and food services are nearing ‘breaking point'.
For his part, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in remarks to the Reuters NEXT conference that the number of civilians killed in Gaza shows that there is something clearly wrong with Israel's military operations.
Israel has pledged to wipe out Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, following a cross-border attack by the Palestinian Resistance group on Oct. 7.
Nearly 1,600 Israelis have been killed since then, officials said, while Israeli forces have maintained constant air and ground attacks against the besieged enclave of 2.3 million people.
In this regard, Guterres called for a distinction: "Hamas is one thing, the Palestinian people (are) another." "If we don't make that distinction, I think it is humanity itself that will lose its meaning," he said.
He mentioned the extremely high number of children killed in Gaza and compared it to the toll in conflicts around the world, on which he reports annually to the UN Security Council. "Every year, the highest number of killings of children by any of the actors in all the conflicts that we witness is the maximum in the hundreds," Guterres said.
On the other hand, the UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Balakrishnan Rajagopal, denounced Israel's destruction of 45% of all homes in Gaza, which, he said, is strictly prohibited by international humanitarian law and constitutes a war crime.
Such attacks, systematically destroying and damaging civilian homes and infrastructure, constitute a war crime and, when directly targeting civilians, also amount to "crimes against humanity," Rajagopal said.