UN calls for Gaza humanitarian truce, toll reaches 1030

Jul 28, 2014, 16:31 IST | IANS

United Nations: The UN Security Council Monday issued an urgent appeal to Israel and Hamas for an immediate humanitarian truce in Gaza, where 1,030 Palestinians and 43 Israeli soldiers have been killed since July 8.

A Palestinian woman prays over the grave of a relative in a cemetery, northwest of Gaza City on July 28, 2014. Photo: AFP

The appeal was made in a presidential statement adopted by the UN Security council at an emergency meeting, which began at 12.04 a.m., Xinhua reported.

"The Security Council urged all parties to accept and implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the upcoming Eid festivities and beyond," the statement said.

"The Security Council expresses grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilians and casualties," the statement said.

The urgent council meeting came after the collapse of a UN-proposed humanitarian truce in Gaza.

A Palestinian was killed and 10 others were injured Sunday after Israeli war jets resumed air strikes on Gaza, where a previous UN-proposed humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas had collapsed.

On Sunday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Hamas and the Palestinian factions agreed to accept the UN-proposed ceasefire for 24 hours, but Israel rejected it.

Efforts to reach a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas have so far failed.

"The Security Council emphasises that civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected," the statement said.

At least 15 people were reportedly killed in Thursday's attack on a school in Beit Hanoun, which was run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

So far, 18 medical facilities, including five UNRWA health clinics, have been hit by air strikes and shelling.

The Security Council "stressed the need for immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, including through urgent additional contribution to UNRWA," it said.


Iran urges Muslim countries to help end Gaza blockade

Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on Muslim countries to step up diplomatic efforts to help end Israel's blockade of Gaza, media reported Monday.

Islamic countries and Muslim member states of the Non-Aligned Movement should take "joint action" at the international level to pressure Israel to stop its siege and attacks on Gaza, Zarif said on Sunday.

Zarif had telephonic conversations with his counterparts from Algeria, Jordan, Pakistan, Sudan and Morocco Sunday, Press TV reported.

Efforts must be intensified to provide Gazans with humanitarian aid as well as medical supplies and treat those wounded in Israeli raids, he said.

The demands of the Gazans as well as a lasting ceasefire should be supported, Zarif added.

On Sunday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in an emailed press statement that Hamas and the Palestinian factions agreed to accept the UN-proposed ceasefire for 24 hours, but Israel rejected it.

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