Israel drops more bombs on Gaza, Palestinians retaliate with rockets

| 61 children among 213 Palestinians died as violence rages 

| Death toll on Israeli side swells to 12

GAZA CITY   –  Heavy air strikes and rocket fire in the Israel-Gaza conflict claimed more lives on both sides Tuesday as tensions flared in Palestinian “day of anger” protests in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

The UN Security Council was to hold an emergency meeting amid a diplomatic push to end the fighting, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Israel would “continue striking at the terrorist targets”.

Israel’s intense bombing campaign has killed 213 Palestinians, including 61 children, and wounded more than 1,400 people in Gaza in more than a week of fighting against Hamas, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

The death toll on the Israeli side rose to 12 when a volley of rockets Hamas fired at the southern Eshkol region killed two Thai nationals working in a factory and wounded several others, police said.

Israeli strikes that again sent fireballs, debris and black smoke into the sky have levelled homes and multi-story towers, cratered roads and left two million Palestinians in the enclave desperate for reprieve.

“They destroyed our house but I don’t know why they targeted us,” said Nazmi al-Dahdouh, 70, of Gaza City who remained shocked by what he called “a terrifying, violent night”.

A convoy of international aid trucks that started rolling into Gaza through a border crossing from Israel, Kerem Shalom, was halted when Israel quickly shuttered it again, citing a mortar attack on the area.

The UN Security Council session, the fourth since the conflict escalated, was called after the United States, a key Israel ally, blocked adoption of a joint statement calling for a halt to the violence on Monday for the third time in a week.

Two Thai workers killed in rocket attack on Israel

Two Thai workers were killed in southern Israel Tuesday by rockets fired from Gaza, police said, raising the death toll in Israel to 12 since hostilities surged.  “In the last wave of rockets that landed in the Eshkol region two people were killed,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, identifying the dead as workers from Thailand.

UNGA to hold urgent session Thursday

The UN General Assembly will hold an urgent meeting on Thursday to discuss the “grave deterioration” of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as Israel presses on with its deadly offensive in Gaza.

The session is in response to a request from the chairmen of the OIC Group at the UN and the Arab Group in a joint letter to the 193-member Assembly President Volkan Bozkir of Turkey.

The letter was signed by Niger’s Ambassador Abdou Abarry, who is chairman of the OIC Group, and Algeria’s Ambassador Sofiane Mimouni, who heads the Arab Group.


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