The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said Monday that more than 137,000 people in Gaza have taken refuge in 83 of its schools.

The agency said in a statement that the numbers are increasing due to continued Israeli airstrikes.

UNRWA said that half a million people stopped receiving vital food aid as the agency was forced to close all 14 food distribution centers.

In a related development, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said that Israeli airstrikes targeted four ambulances east of Khan Yunis city.

Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes continue to launch airstrikes on targets in various parts of the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Hamas group launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel early Saturday, firing a barrage of rockets and infiltrating Israel by land, air and sea. It said the surprise attack was in response to the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and increased settler violence against Palestinians.

In retaliation, the Israeli military launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Gaza has risen to 704, including 143 children and 105 women, the Gaza-based Health Ministry said early Tuesday.

It said the number of wounded has risen to around 4,000.

At least 900 Israelis have been killed and over 2,600 others wounded in the fighting, according to the Israeli Health Ministry.

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon