Nine-year-old Palestinian girl pulled from rubble says the 'dead are the lucky ones'

Layan lost some family members after her home was destroyed in Khan Younis. Credit: AP/ITV News

A nine-year-old Palestinian girl pulled from rubble of her Khan Younis home told ITV News that the "dead are the lucky ones".

Layan lost her father and only brother after their home was destroyed in a new wave of Israeli air strikes on southern Gaza on Thursday morning.

An earlier video shows how the girl was pulled from the rubble of the multi-storey home.

ITV News found her later, in the halls of the nearby Nasser hospital, where she was grieving the loss of her family members.

"I lost my only brother, my only brother, I lost him too soon," Layan told ITV News. "The dead are the lucky ones, what could I say."

Her mother is badly injured while the rest of her extended family is still stuck under the rubble.

The nine-year-old added: "Oh people, believe me, I lost all my family once I woke up. May God help me.

"I want my family back, they are so dear to me."

The girl was pulled from rubble of her Khan Younis home on Thursday, ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine reports

As of this week, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has been targeting Gaza's second-largest city, Khan Younis, claiming that Hamas leaders are hiding there.

Daniel Hagari, the IDF spokesperson, said soldiers have been "fighting with high intensity" and have begun carrying out raids against "Hamas strongholds" in the area.

Weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground campaign have left homeless more than three-quarters of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, causing a humanitarian crisis as they face widespread shortages of food, water and other supplies.

The death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 16,000, the Hamas-run health ministry said, with 70% reported to be women and children.

Meanwhile, around 130 hostages are still being held by Hamas in the enclave, as the families of the captives continue to call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for help in their recovery.

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