Gaza damage costs more than $1.47 billion: Hamas

GAZA (AFP) - Israel's eight-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip has caused more than US$1.2 billion (S$1.47 billion) in direct and indirect damage, a spokesman for the Hamas government said on Sunday.

Mr Taher al-Nunu told reporters in Gaza City that the direct damage caused by more than a week of Israeli aerial bombardment had cost US$545 million, while indirect damage added up to some US$700 million.

He said the eight-day operation had completely destroyed 200 homes and partially damaged another 8,000.

Another 42 non-residential buildings, including the Hamas government headquarters, were also completely destroyed, he added.

Three mosques and a health centre were levelled, and hundreds of official buildings were also partially razed.

During the operation, the Israeli military said it hit more than 1,500 targets, including 19 command centres, 26 weapons manufacturing and storage facilities and "hundreds of underground rocket launchers" as well as "dozens" of longer-range rocket launchers.

Statistics provided by the Hamas-run health ministry show that between Nov 14-21, 166 Gazans were killed, most of them civilians, and another 1,235 people were wounded.

Of those killed, at least 43 were children and 13 women, the emergency services and rights groups said.

In Israel, rocket fire from Gaza killed six Israelis - four civilians and two soldiers - while another 240 people were injured, the military said.