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UPDATE: Ukrainian woman killed in Gaza, 18 citizens confirmed killed in Israel

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 20, 2023 2:09 AM 2 min read
Leyla Khyzhy and her daughter Elena. Khyzhy, a 24-year-old Palestinian-Ukrainian woman, was reported killed in Gaza on Oct. 20, 2023. (Anton Naumliuk/Facebook)
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A Ukrainian woman was killed in the Gaza Strip as the hostilities between Israel and Hamas continue, Ukraine's Ambassador in Israel Yevhen Korniichuk said on live television on Oct. 19.

"Overnight, our activists confirmed the death of one Ukrainian citizen in the Gaza Strip. Her identity is being established," the ambassador said.

In a Facebook post on Oct. 20, journalist Anton Naumliuk wrote that the victim was 24-year-old Kharkiv native Leyla Khyzhy.

"Witnesses claim that they found her after an Israeli strike in a half-destroyed house, she was covering her daughter with herself. That's what they say in every war, because in every war mothers of any nationality, religion and language try to hide their children," Naumliuk said.

Although Israeli ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky said earlier that 23 Ukrainian citizens have been killed in Israel, Korniichuk refuted this number, saying that only 18 citizens have been confirmed killed.

Brodsky noted that this still leaves Ukraine with the second highest number of civilian casualties as a result of the fighting in Israel, right behind the U.S.

Korniichuk said that the situation in the Palestinian enclave besieged by the Israeli military is deteriorating.

"We already have more than 300 people on the evacuation list. It's 308 now, but it's increasing all the time," the ambassador said, adding that the number can grow to 400 in the coming days.

About 450 Ukrainians have been evacuated from Israel as of Oct. 18, with more evacuation flights planned in the coming days.

The fighting in Israel and Gaza broke out following Hamas' attack on Israeli settlements on Oct. 7. Tel Aviv responded by retaliatory airstrikes against Gaza and a "total" blockade of the enclave. Thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed on both sides so far.

Ukrainians trapped in besieged Gaza: ‘We are constantly bombed’
Hundreds of Ukrainians have been caught in the crossfire inside the Gaza Strip after Hamas terrorist attacks on Oct. 7 prompted Israel to respond with a total blockade and intense bombardment of the small Palestinian enclave. Ukraine is now working to evacuate 243 Ukrainian citizens from Gaza, whic…

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