GAZA, July 21 (Xinhua) -- As Israel keeps on with its current massive aerial bombardment and ground incursion against the Islamist Hamas Movement in Gaza, body counts of Palestinians have increased to 509, with more than 3,000 others wounded, medical sources said on Monday.
The Gaza-based health ministry said in a press statement that since July 8, the Israeli army has killed a total of 509 Palestinians, while some 3,300 others were wounded, adding that two third of the victims are civilians, including women and children.
Meanwhile, Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman for the health ministry in Gaza, told reporters that the latest death was on Monday afternoon when an Israeli tank shell fragment killed and 30-year- old man in eastern Gaza, adding that three young men were killed earlier on Monday morning in three separate airstrikes on different parts of the coastal enclave.
Ten Palestinians were killed early in an airstrike on Monday morning in Rafah town, including a 23-year-old young man, where rescue team pulled out the bodies of nine residents, the spokesman added.
Israeli war jets and tanks continued overnight and on Monday striking the Gaza Strip, while militants in the coastal enclave kept firing rockets into Israel and attacking the Jewish state's ground forces near the borders between the enclave and Israel.
UN Security Council calls for "immediate cessation of hostilities" in Gaza
UNITED NATIONS, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Sunday night called for an "immediate cessation of hostilities" in the Gaza Strip.
Following an emergency closed-door consultation, Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana of Rwanda, this month's president of the Security Council, told reporters that the council had a "sober" meeting given the seriousness of the situation. Full story
Israeli envoy dismisses Hamas' kidnapping claim
UNITED NATIONS, July 20 (Xinhua) -- An Israeli envoy on Sunday dismissed the Hamas armed wing's claim that they had kidnapped an Israeli soldier.
Ron Prosor, Israel's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, made the clarification at the UN headquarters as the Security Council is holding an emergency meeting on the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine.Full story
"Kidnapped" Israeli soldier among 13 dead earlier: source
JERUSALEM/GAZA, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Sunday evening refused to comment on Hamas' claim of having kidnapped an Israeli soldier, but a military source told Xinhua that the "kidnapped" was among the 13 Israeli soldier who died in earlier clashes with militants.
A Hamas spokesperson said on Sunday that they had "captured a Zionist soldier," releasing a photograph with his name and military ID number. The IDF later said they are looking into the report and cannot confirm nor deny it so far. Full story
Abbas urges for UN emergency session on Gaza
RAMALLAH, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday called on the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session to discuss Israel's ongoing large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip.
"The failure of the Security Council to make a decision on ending the Israeli aggression and the massacres against our people doesn't relieve it from its responsibility in accordance to the international law," Abbas said in a televised speech. "Therefore, I'm calling on the Security Council to hold another emergency session tonight." Full story