Ban Ki-moon: Israel in Gaza, "an atrocious action". So far 502 Palestinians and 18 Israeli soldiers killed
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has termed called it Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, aiming to stop the rain of rockets on towns in the south and other areas in Israel "an atrocious action".
Since the beginning of operation "Border protection" July 8, at least 502 Palestinians
have been killed, 140 in one day yesterday, the bloodiest so far.
On the Israeli side, 13 Israeli soldiers in the Golani Brigade were killed yesterday, bringing to 18 the number of Israeli victims since the start of the offensive. According to the army, seven soldiers were killed by the explosion of a bomb at the passing of one of their armored vehicles; 3 were shot in an exchange of fire with Islamic activists and 3 others in a building on fire.
The spokesman for the emergency services, Ashraf al-Qoudra says that
the Israeli army launched its deadliest
bombing raid in Shajaya, a suburb east of Gaza
City, killing 72 Palestinians. At least nine
Palestinians, including 7 children,
were killed this morning during a raid
In a raid last night on Khan Younes, another 16 Palestinians were killed, their bodies found today under the rubble of the building. They are added to the 9 people killed yesterday.
Many people were wounded yesterday; 250 in Shajaya and 450 in the Strip.
At least half of the Palestinians killed were women,
children and the elderly. The Israeli civilian casualties, because of the rockets
fired from Gaza, are people two so far. Approximately 81 thousand Palestinians have sought refuge in schools run by the UN.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Shejaya raid was necessary because it is "a fortress of terror" and rocket launching center and that Israel has no other choice but to enter into densely populated areas, after having warned people to leave their homes.
The UN Security Council convened yesterday afternoon urgently calling for a cease-fire and immediately condemning the mounting number of deaths. The meeting lasted two hours and at Jordan's request demanded the observance of international humanitarian law regarding the protection of civilians.
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, who had also requested
the emergency meeting, called the situation in Gaza "intolerable"
and the Israeli attacks a "crime against humanity".
Yesterday during the Angelus, Pope Francis again asked everyone to intensify their prayer for peace in the Middle East. "Violence - he said - can never be defeated with violence. Violence can only be defeated by peace".