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UN warns of “immense” Gaza casualties

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Reiterating calls for an immediate end to the Israeli war on Gaza, the United Nations said the level of human loss and destruction became “immense” as the war on Gaza enters its ninth day.

“The numbers are increasing by the hour,” Sami Mshasha, from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.

“We also notice that a good number of those killed and injured are women and children, and that is a cause of concern for UNRWA,” he added.

According to Gaza health ministry, at least 202 Palestinian, civilians were killed since the start of the Israeli attacks last week.

More than 1360 have also been inured; “of whom 386 are children and 249 women,” UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Monday, July 14.

The OCHA said that about 80% of deaths in Gaza are civilians, including dozens of children and women.

“The high toll for civilians is a big concern for the humanitarian community,” said, Maria Jose Torres, the deputy head of OCHA’s office for the Palestinian territories.

“As humanitarians we are appealing to the parties to refrain from killing and injuring civilians as well as from putting civilians at risk.”

The large scale of mass destruction in Gaza has left about 1,255 home severely damaged, forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes that were caught up in the Israeli air strikes, UN aid agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) said.

“Gaza’s water utility has suspended emergency operations and repairs due to the insecurity of its staff, and warned that water supply to 600,000 is at risk as a result,” the UN said.

Israel has been launching relentless airstrikes against Gaza since July 8 in which hundreds have been killed and injured in the tiny coastal strip.

Israel has claimed that its new war on Gaza, under the title Operation Protect Edge, was a response to the rocket attacks being carried out by Hamas.

Truce

After the failure of Egyptian proposed cease fire, Israel killed several civilians in air strikes on Wednesday, July 16.

After the failure of Egypt’s proposed ceasefire, Tunisia announced that it is working with Turkey, Qatar and France on mediation to stop the Israeli bombardment toward Gaza.

“Tunisia is mediating – along with Turkey, Qatar and France – in an effort to halt Israel’s aggression on the Gaza Strip at a time when the Egyptian regime is not fit to mediate,” Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda movement, was quoted by Anadolu agency on Tuesday, July 15.

As Israel escalates its offense against Gaza civilians for the second week, mosques, hospitals, and homes were bombed by Israeli raids.

Steeping up its military operations, Israel has deployed thousands of troops around Gaza that are ready for ground invasion.

“We still have the possibility of going in, under cabinet authority, and putting an end to (the rockets),” Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defence official, was quoted by Reuters.

Livelihood in the Gaza Strip, home to more than 1.8 million, has badly deteriorated since Israel imposed a crippling siege on the enclave in 2006. ONISLAM


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