A majority of the people killed by Israeli airstrikes on Gaza are children, records show. / Photo: AA

On average one child is killed every 10 minutes in Gaza, a World Health Organization (WHO) representative said on Tuesday, calling the situation "humanity's darkest hour."

"We are talking almost about 16,000 people killed, its more than 60% (are) women and children, and more than 42,000 people injured," Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative in occupied Palestinian territories, told a UN press briefing in Geneva.

Peeperkorn added: "On average a child is killed every 10 minutes in Gaza. I think in that sense we are close by the humanity's darkest hour."

"We need a sustained ceasefire," he urged.

Hospital beds reduce significantly

Gaza, he said, went from 3,500 hospital beds to "probably way less" than 1,500 now, and stressed that the strip cannot afford any other loss of hospital beds as health needs are soaring.

Israel resumed its military offensive on the Gaza Strip on Friday after the end of a week-long humanitarian pause with the Palestinian group Hamas.

Nearly 15,900 Palestinians have been killed and more than 42,000 others injured in relentless air and ground attacks on the enclave since October 7 following a cross-border attack by Hamas.

The Israeli death toll in the Hamas attack stood at 1,200, according to official figures.

Click here to follow our WhatsApp channel for more stories